This week has been mostly spent out of the garden. On Monday while working outside, I tweaked a muscle in my back and the rest of the week has seen me bent at a 45 degree angle when I walk and unable to do very much in the garden. On some days, the pain almost immobilized me, but it's getting better. I hope to soon be out weeding and pruning again. In the meantime, I got a lot of good reading done.
This afternoon, I stepped outside and noticed a swallowtail butterfly nectaring on the petunias next to the back porch. I glanced at it and thought, "Giant Swallowtail." Then I did a double take and looked again. No, not a Giant Swallowtail, but something completely different. Something I had never seen in my yard before.
I am very excited to have a Palamedes Swallowtail in my yard. You might say it was the high point of my week! Unfortunately, I don't think I have anything for such a butterfly to lay an egg on. Their food plants are listed as red bay, sassafras, sweet bay, and avocado. Maybe I need to run out and purchase a bay or avocado tree.
I happened to have the camera with me when I found the Palamedes because I wanted to try to document some of the butterflies in the yard. After last year's horrendous spring and summer when butterflies of any kind were very rare in my garden, this spring has seen a veritable butterfly bonanza here. And not just Monarchs and the various swallowtails and sulphurs and Gulf Fritillaries, but a very diverse population.
While I was checking out the wildflower bed, which is in my vegetable garden, I stopped by the raised bed that holds the corn.
The rains that we got this week - 1.2 inches so far - gave a boost to the corn and to everything else. I had begun providing supplemental water to several of my plants, especially the vegetables, that seemed to be suffering in the dry conditions we had had for a few weeks. But the rain took care of that - at least for a few days. It was a good note on which to close out the week.