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, May 11, 2012


An introductory note:  I used to post about all things green and gardeny here.  Then I'd come back to Austin Agrodolce and post recipes and everything else.  I grew weary of the schizophrenic nature of sifting through where to post what and will in future put everything on this blog, in one place.  That should make it easier to post and easier to read, both.  Readers from Gardenista, new to Austin Agrodolce?  Welcome!  Austin Agrodolce readers, meet the Gardenista crew.  Y'all play nice.  Now, onward.

Earlier this season I made the decision to let the butterflies, birds, squirrels and "other" visitors to our loquat trees have the full bounty of the season.  The trees were bare last year at a time when the critters depending on them for a food source could hardly afford the loss.  This year, I figured everybody deserved a break.

Our two main trees were loaded with fruit.  They started out looking like this:
And ended up looking like this: (double click to get a larger image)
In between times we all took turns gently strolling through the throngs of Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta) who were drawn to the fallen spoils.
Another less common visitor was revealed to be a Question Mark butterfly, so called because of a pearly white curved line and dash featured on the underside of the wing.
Also referred to as a Polygonia interrogationis,
which sounds a lot like a Harry Potter incantation to me.  This, from a source reporting on the behaviors of the Question Mark:

As an adult butterfly, the Question Mark seeks out rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, or carrion as food sources. Only when these are unavailable do Question Marks visit flowers for nectar.

Yup.  Let that information settle in for just a moment.  In retrospect, I suppose I'm grateful this butterfly didn't flitter over and settle on my outstretched finger.  In future, I'll restrict my activities around butterflies to taking their photos and/or admiring them from a respectable distance.  I guess I am happiest to realize the Question Mark was in our yard for the rotting fruit.  I mean, given the options.

In other news, spotted around the yard recently:

The eponymous Small Pink moth, Pyrausta inornatalis, which I originally mistook for a variegated bloom.
Aaaand, in the little blue bird house in the beds out front, signs of nesting.
Last but not least, the reseeded Granpa Ott morning glory out back is looking to be staying true to type.
And there you have it, all caught up for now.  Once again, I am counting on the few of you intrepid enough to check back in after such a long silence, to tolerate having both the garden centric and the everything else under the sun posts all gathered here for the time being.  Y'all good with that?  Awesome.


Cat said...

I'm glad you're back. Your writing speaks so clearly to my heart and sense of humor! I added some oranges to the garden on April 1 to attract migrating Orioles. No Orioles visited the fruit but the Admirals did. After a few days so did the Question Mark. After reading up on it, I'll admit my skin crawled a little bit. It was hard for my mind to wrap around that little carrion tid bit. Shudder.

TexasDeb said...

Cat I am glad to be back, and even happier to have you join in. Thanks for dropping in.