Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

After the rain

I went out after the rain late yesterday afternoon to take a look at the garden.

Just a few steps out my front door, I found the double Knockout rose full of blooms that were still dripping with raindrops.

As was the nearby red ruellia.

Further along, in the herb and citrus bed of the veggie garden, I encountered this little guy, my first Giant Swallowtail caterpillar of the year, on the leaf of my little Mandarin orange tree. You can see why these are sometimes referred to as "bird dropping" caterpillars! Their appearance perfectly emulates a bird dropping. Their camouflage is further enhanced by the fact that they remain mostly immobile during the daylight hours. I've never actually seen one of them attacked by a predator as I have many other caterpillars - Monarchs, for example, which seem to be favorites of the wasps in my yard.

A couple of days ago, I had taken a picture of one of my butterfly weed plants in bloom. I didn't realize that I had captured an image of a Monarch caterpillar until I uploaded the picture. See him there on a leaf on the left in the middle of the picture? This was the first Monarch caterpillar I have seen this year.

But, back to yesterday. The rain we received was most welcome, and, after sunset, it continued to rain off and on throughout the night. I haven't yet checked the rain gauge this morning, so I'm not sure how much we got but we appreciate it all.

A 'Red Lion' amaryllis, on left, and St. Joseph's lily, on right, bowed down with the weight of raindrops from yesterday's rain.


  1. Hurray, two butterfly caterpillars, including a monarch! You're off to a great start to the season.

  2. That swallowtail cat looks so like a bird dropping I probably would have hosed it off the leaf! The rain was very welcome, even if the lightning and thunder did make me jump out of bed at 2:30 in the morning!

    1. Being startled by thunder was definitely worth it this time!