Monday, June 17, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013


It's hot.  It's humid.  It's South Florida in summer.  Brilliant, steamy sun followed by threatening clouds, thunder, lightning, downpours, then more sun.  In the midst of this, plants grow like a Stephen King novel.  Keeping the status quo is like fighting a battle each weekend.  This past week, I trimmed Cape Honeysuckle off the house wires, then bagged up the cuttings.  We go through more lawn bags......if shredders weren't so expensive, I'd buy one.  We'd have our own mulch and then some.  This coming week?  Bagging up the bougainvillea cuttings from 2 weeks ago and cutting some more.  

In between this, I watch the butterflies flit around from plant to plant.  This, more than winter, is their season, and there are hundreds that make their home in my yard.  I do hate to trim, because these same butterflies make cocoons on plant branches.  The best I can do is to check each branch when I cut, say a quick prayer - and if all is clear, off it goes.  If I didn't trim, we'd truly have "Jurassic Park" in no time and it would be hard to find my house.

The following are some pictures I've taken in my yard:

Above is a peanut plant - whether it actually grows peanuts or not, I don't know, but it is used for ground cover.  I prefer it to grass, although some grasses are butterfly larval plants, so we don't get rid of all grass.

Above is our Poinciana tree taken from down the street as we approach the house.  It is SO beautiful this year.  There are Poincianas everywhere, all breathtaking in their blooming beauty.

We have mosquitos, so we have dragonflies.  I try to only go out in the middle of the day or I have to wear mosquito spray - I don't like this at all, and we don't have any standing water, but they breed in amongst the damp leaves on bushes and vines.  We've had a particularly wet beginning to summer, so the mosquitos are inevitable. 

This is a skipper butterfly - not sure which species skipper - resting on the leaves of the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) vine.  I see the eggs under the leaf, but don't know whether they are a butterfly's or not.   I do not see the plant listed as a larval plant for any butterfly, but it could be for a moth - we have some beautiful sphinx moths at night, too.

Another view of the skipper butterfly.

Mr. Squirrel thinks he is incognito.......

This little lizard was only about an inch long - very tiny.  Must have been newly hatched.

Above is a weed plant that butterflies and bees love, so we don't pull it up.  the flowers are lovely .