In spite of my neglect, the garden is actually doing quite well. So far, there has been enough rain this summer to keep things going, with very little resorting to the sprinklers and hoses. In fact we received another nice shower just this afternoon.
Moreover, the critters of the garden are flourishing. Everywhere I worked this week, I kept encountering tiny, newly-hatched green anoles, a well as many adults. The Mediterranean geckos still patrol the ceilings of the porches at night, looking for insects drawn to the lights, and once the sun goes down each day, the frogs begin their chorus. It is a truly amazing sound to step into the backyard at night and hear those hundreds, maybe thousands, of frogs around the neighborhood singing their songs.
Butterfly numbers and diversity are back almost to where they were before we endured the long, long drought of last year and the year before. I see caterpillars of many kinds as I make my rounds of the garden each day.
In addition to the butterflies, I often encounter interesting moths around the garden. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable about moths as I would like to be and so I often cannot identify what I see, but sometimes a picture will help.
I checked my pictures against my field guide later and I think this is the Waved Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia undulosa). There are lots of sphinx moths around, of many varieties, and it is often hard for an inexpert observer like myself to correctly identify them. If you know this guy and believe my identification is incorrect, please let me know.
And so, I end this week, for the first time in awhile, satisfied with my efforts in the garden. It is a good feeling. A few more weeks like this and I may not have to hang my head in shame every time I see my fellow gardeners!