Welcome!

Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.



Friday, April 29, 2016

Giving April her due

Time for a slightly different approach.
I find this passalong Pavonia consistently charming.
I don't have much to say today.
Didn't see the butterfly that laid the egg for this guy.  Fortunately my observation was not key to the process.
I did want to share a few recent images from the garden.
Cedar waxwings stuck around to fill up on loquats before heading north.
Intermittent rains both watered and kept the heat at bay through the end of April.

Plants and pollinators alike are happy about that.
Pollinators of every stripe have been happy to share the loquat bounty.
So am I.
Question Mark Butterfly, (Polygonia interrogationis) is a fan of the fermenting loquat fruit. 
My oak pollen "problem" is over for another year, though other trees continue their courtship dances in and on the wind.
I am able to enjoy my gardens from the other side of the windows again.
Here's to time spent outside with no more than the usual set of possible consequences.
Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) visits Lantana.
Fare thee well, April, here's looking forward to May!

20 comments:

Linda/patchwork said...

Great shots!

April has been a nice month. A busy month here. One clean up, after another.
But...that gives me lots of outdoor time.

Summer will be here, before we know it.

Tina said...

Beautiful photos, Deb. April has been quite lovely this year, though it's getting warmer than I like now. Your caterpillar is probably a monarch--lucky gardener. I can't tell by the leaves, but is it on milkweed? I do hope so. I had 5 or 6 monarch cats and in fact, they ate down the milkweed and I had to transfer 2 cats to a neighbor with plenty of ready-for-the-noshing milkweed.

Rock rose said...

The question Mark butterfly. I'm wondering if I have ever seen that one. He certainly is a pretty one. But I don't have loquats so may be that is the reason. Come on May-but please be nice.

TexasDeb said...

Linda: Thank you. My time out in the garden has felt rushed, but it is heartening to be back in the middle of it again. Summer better wait its turn, I'm not ready for it!

TexasDeb said...

Tina: I'm pretty sure the cat is a monarch but it has gone missing. It was munching on tropical milkweed that grew back from the ground quickly after our non-winter. They've had aphids already too. These plants are veritable Burger Shacks for the sap tolerant.

Today was already too hot and humid for me. I popped out and got the bare minimum done before gratefully popping back indoors. Maybe I need to rebuild my tolerance after weeks spent inside but whoo boy, that was icky working weather.

TexasDeb said...

RRose/Jenny: You are so nice to drop in and say hello. Lady, I owe you about 5 comments at the moment. You've posted up a storm and I've enjoyed every one but haven't been much in the writing department lately.

I rarely see the Question Mark butterfly except when the loquat fruit are on the ground fermenting. They are all about decomposition, these butterflies, so probably not seeing them is a good thing for the most part.

If we had a cool slightly wet May...wouldn't that be a dream come true!

Kris Peterson said...

I've never before seen either the Question Mark butterfly or the Pipevine Swallowtail. Both are beautiful testimonials to the appeal of your garden. I'm glad to hear you're able to get back outside without being miserable too! The rains promised by El Nino have largely passed us by and our temperatures run hot and cool(er) at intervals but I'm hoping for a little more spring before summer descends. Although buds on the Agapanthus are signaling that summer's in the wings, waiting its turn to pounce.

Shirley/Rock-Oak-Deer said...

Now I know I'm glad I planted that loquat seedling a gardening friend pushed on me! I'll keep it limbed up and seedlings picked up so all should be good especially if I attract more butterflies like that question mark. Here's to a good April and May to come....written as mor hail begins to hit.

Kathleen Scott said...

How lovely. You make me want a loquat, although I don't know where I'don't put one...

So much fun to see your butterflies! I've had pipevines,for years but never seen the butterflies, so I'may happy to enjoy yours.

The caterpillar is a monarch?

Look forward to seeing your garden unfold.

TexasDeb said...

Kris: Thank you! I went into a bit of a "I just can't!" gardening funk this year which apparently extended to my commenting on your wonderful blog, on top of my not posting here. I do read every post you write - they are all wonderful immersions into your gardening adventures.

I hope we both get a little more spring like weather before the heat returns for The Duration. We're finally getting rain but it comes with a side of hail in many cases. I'm learning to be a little more specific in what I wish for, certainly.

TexasDeb said...

Shirley: Your plan with the loquat sounds wise. I let ours get out of hand and neglected pulling seedlings enough times it resulted in an ongoing mini-nightmare, no lie. Loquats do provide wondrous year round shade and feed SO many critters while the fruit lasts. Not only Question Mark butterflies but in even greater numbers, the Admirals really enjoy feeding on the fruit. At times the feeding butterflies carpet sections of the sidewalk below. The loveliest form of "litter" imaginable!

Fingers crossed we all escape further hail damage and I'm looking forward to seeing your loquat in future posts.

TexasDeb said...

Kat: Loquats get big - you're wise to hold off if you don't have a giant gap to fill. I rarely see pipevine butterflies either - it was just luck of the draw I was on one of my allotted short visits outside recently and caught the one shown here. And yup, that cat was definitely a monarch, though I missed seeing the butterfly who visited and left that gift behind.

Even when I'm out and about regularly I often get the feeling I'm missing most of what is happening outside. While I'm willing to brave the heat to simply "be" out in our garden spaces, mosquitoes and the insistence of the rest of "life" to keep moving along while I'm gardening have other plans!

Pam/Digging said...

It's such relief to be done with oak pollen and leaves, isn't it? I know for you that must be doubly true, since it's not just the messy issue for you but a health issue. Here's to more pleasant spring days, and I wouldn't complain about more rain either!

TexasDeb said...

Pam: I'd be grateful for more rain - things are looking so much greener and happier with a little more help this season than was our unfortunate longstanding "new normal". I'd even manage not to complain (so much anyway!) about the heat if we got continuing regular rains this year. Or so I say now... : )

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Oh Deb these were incredible views from your lovely garden...loved all the critters!

Donna@GardensEyeView
and LivingFromHappiness

TexasDeb said...

Donna: Thank you so much! I'm just now getting back in the swing of gardening after being forced away due to allergies. I'm a much happier camper if I can be outside whenever I like, and the photos reflect that joy.

Diana said...

Your photos of pollinators and birds in the garden are amazing. Especially the shot of the loquat tree. Doesn't it just make you smile to see them all enjoying your plants and fruits? It's like having National Geographic in your back yard!

texasdeb said...

Diana: Thanks for dropping in and your kind words. I have a love/hate relationship with those trees...

The mess the loquats make (dropped fruit leading to SO MANY seedlings!) is annoying and keeping them cleared is a task we rarely keep in front of. That said, you are right, the enjoyment of so many wild creatures feeding on that fruit makes it all worthwhile long term. Not that I don't still grumble...

Debra said...

The colours in these shots are amazing. The rock rose: wow. Pinker than pink and greener than green. The waxwing with the loquat fruit took my breath away.

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Thank you for the ongoing support. Your photos are always so stunning - I really appreciate the compliment!