Friday, June 17, 2011

Butterfly days and Summer memories


A little girl with shiny long hair years ago would run through the orchard looking up at the sky and have a big black butterfly try to land on her head and that would be me. I now know years later they were called Mourning cloaks and are known as the friendly gentle butterfly.

                                      Trying to take a picture of a butterfly.

I love butterflies because of that I plant bushes that will attract them to my garden. Butterflies also need to have plants to be used as host plants to deposit their eggs.My purple butterfly bush that is blooming has butterflies enjoying the nectar every day. I also bought another bush that has attracted butterflies the bush is called a milkweed .Monarchs need  the milkweed plant so the larvae can eat it as it develops on this plant. It’s a host plant and if you want monarchs head for the nursery. Today with the heat of summer bearing down I am being sure to water my plants and that’s when these beautiful graceful ballerinas come out influenced by a wet drink to soothe their parched wings I tried to sit quietly today near the milkweed and I could see the butterfly but never catch it in a picture. It eluded me and teased me with its getting close to the milkweed then flying away rapidly. Frustrating as it was I realized how hard it is to be still and wait.

 There is a monarch in the milkweed bush look closely!
I caught it in my photo.

 I need to weed yikes!
  When I was a little girl my parents had a orchard in our backyard with twenty seven fruit trees. When I would go out the back door I would look out at the arbor that lead to the orchard and to this world of fully mature fruit trees. There were almond trees, peach trees, fig trees, nectarines and lemon trees. I remember stooping and playing under the ripe plum trees while picking fruit. .The memories of running through the orchard with my brothers and picking tangerines from a tree that seem to age better with neglect are still fresh in my mind on a hot summer day.I am embarrassed to recall putting my little brothers in large leaf trash cans and pushing them down our little hill in the orchard over and over again. Every year we would have bags of tangerines from this constant steady reliable tree.
Today I noticed two mourning cloaks butterflies were in the garage in front of our big window that looks out to the garden and were stuck unable to get out of the garage. Between the cobwebs and the chance of freedom a look away they were not going anywhere. They were beautiful and I of course had to rescue them. I climbed all over the place practically breaking my neck with the pieces of wood my husband has leaning against the wall. They fluttered away, I kept talking to them they listened I am sure but were not impressed just scared to be trapped in the garage. Finally they settled down wings together against the large window and I grabbed the wings delicately with my fingers. Off one went over the top of the roof and then the next one was caught and flew away just as rapidly. Now I have mourning cloaks watching me as I putter in my garden. Mourning cloaks live for a year and so these two are my new garden buddies for the year. Cheri                                              


...Miss...Maddie's... said...

Sunflowers already, how lovely.
I can see the butterfly.
Have a great weekend.
Susan x

Linda, NE Iowa said...

I found the monarch in the milkweed bush! I so very much enjoy the pictures people show of their gardens since I'm not a garden-type person.

Larkrise garden girl said...

I am glad you both saw the butterfly . I didn't know I caught it until I saw my pictures. I have too many hobbies for my own good but I love gardens. Cheri

Dog Trot Farm said...

Cheri, your yard is alive with color, very lush and beautiful. I need to become more observant when it comes to butterflies. Come fall however, our fields will be filled with milkweed and monarch caterpillars will become plentiful. The process of watching a caterpillar morph into a butterfly never becomes old!

Larkrise garden girl said...

Your so lucky I have to buy the milkweed bush!

Courtney said...

Every September I gather up a couple of monarch caterpillars and some of the milkweed they are feeding off of and set up a butterfly cage in my classroom. We watch them munch for a couple of days and then magically they form their chrysalis. It's so beautiful...looks like gold flecks on green. Several days later the monarch emerges and we all bring it outside to let it go, on its way to migration. The kids love it and it's a wonderful life cycle review for them. For's still magic, every time!

Larkrise garden girl said...

I think it is wonderful for kids to experience nature and I can remember as a child in class raising silk worms. Sounds like a fun class room Courtney.Cheri

Kim said...

I have been wanting a butterfly bush for a few years now but haven't been able to find one in our little garden centers. I'm gonna keep trying because I love watching them flit around.
You have lovely gardens.

Larkrise garden girl said...

Thanks Kim, I am working on my side yard which I am calling my secret garden this summer.Good luck on picture taking I know you will get better and better at it. I don't know if I told you my dad had a darkroom and loved photography. I remember the smell of the chemicals as they developed and the sight of a picture emerging in the darkroom. Cheri

Jan said...

What a gentle soul you are to save the two butterflies. I would have done the same and I do on our back porch for bumble bees and the such. I just open the window and hope they find their way out or guide them if I can. Yes your garden does look a little thirsty. You are lucky to have so much sunshine. We have so much rain that I cherish everyday of sunshine we get. Your garden looks lovely however and aren't you so glad that you are able to have such a soothing place to ponder life in.
Have a great day

Jan said...

After reading a bit more, I was wondering, do you live anywhere near Carpenteria.
We used to live there and in Ventura many years ago and we used to love to go to Pismo beach and Solvang was my all time favorite place to go and play for the day. The shops are so Scandinavish and German too

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Jan Yes we get alot of sun. I live in San Diego county famous for the San Diego Zoo,Wild animal park Sea World and miles of beaches. I live inland near the mountains.It's the best of two worlds up on hill with less population and then a drive down the hill to lots of places to go.

Farm Girl said...

So pretty and I just love how your garden looks.
I am glad you took such nice pictures.

Kathy said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog. Your story of butterflies reminds me of a butterfly garden talk I attended at an antiques shop in Orange, CA several years ago. Everything in your garden is perfect for this beautiful creature to feel right at home. And so peaceful looking too.

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi farm girl and Kathy. Thank you for the nice compliments. Kathy I have been to the antique stores in Orange it's a couple hour drive but I love those shops. Cheri

Rugs and Pugs said...

Cheri ~
Even if the gardens need weeding (don't they always?), they are still beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
Pug hugs :)

Larkrise garden girl said...

Thanks Lauren for enjoying my garden. I do enjoy being outside.

Leontien said...

ohhh i would love to have spent some time with you in that orchard! And it is good to have two new buddies!


Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Leontien, That orchard was magical and I know that is why I have always loved plants.