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

Friday, July 19, 2013

This week in the garden - #72


Yes, we finally got some measurable rain this week. The picture of the rain gauge was taken on Wednesday and shows 0.75 inch of rain, but earlier in the week, on two occasions, we got 0.50 and 0.125 inch of rain. So, if my math is correct, that means more than one inch of rain, actually 1.375 for the week. So far. There is still considerable moisture in the air and a possibility of more rain over the next few days, and while we certainly appreciate what we have gotten, more would be welcome.


Speaking of the weather, I've been a bit under it this week with a respiratory infection and accompanying fever, so I've spent the week mostly indoors.

But yesterday, I was feeling better and I did manage to get outside and I even had a camera in my hand when I saw this.

 A Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly! The first one of its kind that I had seen in the garden since...I can't remember when. In fact, it was the first swallowtail of any kind that I had seen in the garden in many weeks. I was so excited that I followed him around as he was sipping from the flame acanthus blossoms, snapping pictures as I went.

As always, there were lots of bees in the acanthus hedge and some of them took exception to sharing their bounty with an interloper.

But there were actually plenty of blossoms for everyone.

This butterfly seemed to be in pristine condition which leads me to believe that it had not been out of the chrysalis for long. They usually begin to show wear and tear on the wings within a few days of emerging.

As I've noted in other recent posts here, the butterfly traffic in the garden does seem to increasing slowly. I don't know if we'll ever get back to our usual summer numbers this year, but it is heartening to be seeing more of them and more varieties of them around my yard.


Although butterfly numbers have been down, there have been plenty of dragonflies around the garden recently. This one that I photographed by my goldfish pond last week is (I think) a Blue Dasher, but I'm no expert on dragonfly identification and I could be wrong. Whatever its true identity, I enjoy these critters almost as much as the butterflies and I love having them in my garden.


  1. So glad you shared in the rain, Dorothy! God doesn`t forget us!

    1. We got another 2.1 inches more of rain this afternoon, making almost 3.5 inches for the week! Marvelous!

  2. Good to hear you are feeling better. What a pretty butterfly! I get a bit jealous when I see all these amazing pictures of butterflies on the blogs I am visiting, the butterflies in my garden are mainly white or browny, without any specific markings. Pretty boring if you ask me. Your photos are amazing.

    1. I have a lot of the small, not brilliantly marked butterflies, too. Most of them are in the skipper family. But I find even the dull ones interesting to observe.