I’m so excited! This is the first time I’ve ever seen a Red Admiral butterfly. I had installed a solar powered fountain in the pond only minutes before when this little guy came to visit and take a drink. After that, he spread his wings on the sun warmed rocks and I was able to get a good look.
I hope he hangs around for a while…I’ll try to capture better photos if I see him again.
The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) has much more black than the Monarch. It has a black upper forewing with a bright, diagonal red-orange band across it and spots of white on the tips. It also has a red marginal band on its hindwing and the underside is a mottled brown.
I found a poem about this butterfly and had to share. I wasn’t able to learn a lot about the poet, David Wood, but I certainly do like his poems!
Sonnet 68: Red Admiral
Patrolling small stretches of the hedgerow Like a silent sentry on guard duty, Other butterflies they will overthrow; The Red Admiral, nature’s real beauty.
Seen fluttering throughout summers hot days From buddleia to Michaelmas daisies, And sheltering from the suns golden rays, All the people will sing of their praises.
But they cannot survive the winter’s cold Their life is all too brief, a crying shame: Alas none of them will ever grow old Their short life is all part of nature’s game.
Their beauty we cannot take for granted For they are delicately enchanted.
Before it gets so hot and dry that everything dies a slow and painful death, here’s a few pics from the garden:
The raspberries aren’t ready to eat, but oh so pretty cherry red.
Still thriving; a decades old bottlebrush.
Photobombed by my resident Scott’s Oriole. What a show off! Look at how adept he is balancing on the tip of an agave.
And then he flew over to the bottlebrush in time to get his photo taken again.
I have pretty good luck propagating alstroemeria; now it’s blooming everywhere!
And indoors, it looks like all these plants are growing out of the fireplace, but this is where they get the perfect amount of diffused light. My Monstera looks bright and healthy living her best life with a fresh white orchid.
Lots of happy plants in and out. I hope you enjoyed this tour of Casa de Enchanted Seashells!
A May gray morning is the perfect weather for a walk.
My hydrangea is blooming and yes, I know I could turn the flowers blue with the correct fertilizer, but I decided to allow them to retain their natural hue without intervention.
At sundown, this is where I often see coyotes, but nothing right now.
Here’s the entrance to a lagoon path; how adorable is this community fairy village?
I’m not too sure what that big square thingy is on the shoreline, but I didn’t want to walk in the muck with my good walking shoes, so it’ll have to remain a mystery.
It’s rattlesnake season, so I diligently watched where I was going and spied a strange object. It’s not exactly a rock but feels heavy for its size and to me, it looks like a whale. Another treasure to bring home!
This photo is my definition of motherhood; five goslings closely following mom (and dad), learning to eat and swim. And survive.
For me, that’s part of what makes a good mom; unconditional and protective love combined with teaching essential life skills.
In my case, I was often referred to as the “smother mother“, but it’s a label I wear with pride. I’m not a helicopter mom, but even better…I’m (still) a DRONE mom. I’m the same with the grandkids; laser-focused on them at all times.
Every seven years, my birthday falls on Mother’s Day. As my mom often said, I was the perfect Mother’s Day gift for her, and as my son tells me, I wouldn’t have anything to celebrate without HIM, so he’s the one who actually deserves the gifts and accolades. He’s a funny guy.
In my opinion, tomorrow’s the perfect enchanted day to double my joy and celebrate ME. .
Last year I attended the first ever North County Monarch Butterfly Festival. I’m glad to learn that it’s coming back again this Mother’s Day weekend.
The Festival highlights all aspects of the Monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating. Join discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, such as conservation and butterfly migration, habitat restoration and creation; talks on diseases and predators to gardening with native plants. It’s a great event for families with children’s activities and seed exchanges. (Event link below.)
In my garden, I thought my milkweed plants had died, but they miraculously returned and are doing well.
Planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for the Monarch. There are more than one hundred species of this wildflower native to North America. Here are just a dozen:
SymphonyinYellow An omnibus across the bridge Crawls like a yellow butterfly And, here and there, a passer-by Shows like a little restless midge.
Big barges full of yellow hay Are moored against the shadowy wharf, And, like a yellow silken scarf, The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade And flutter from the Temple elms, And at my feet the pale green Thames Lies like a rod of rippled jade. –Oscar Wilde
This Bush Poppy (Dendromecon rigida) is a California native shrub. It’s a tough and beautiful plant but only if planted in the right conditions. The Bush Poppy thrives on rocky clay slopes with excellent draining. If planted in sandier soils, it can handle supplementary water up to once a month. Prefers full sun. Flowers are beautiful, as are the long, thin, blue-green leaves.
Look at this lemony yellow azalea. I didn’t even know they came in yellow until I used the info app on my phone to identify this gorgeous girl. I think it’s actually called Rhododendron ‘Lemon Lights’.
My crow cousins have been leaving gifts for me all around the garden and deck.
Shiny and sparkly!
So far I’ve discovered these four baubles. I always look up to see if I can catch the gift giver; so far I haven’t, but I say thank you out loud as I pocket my treasures.
Crows are known to give small gifts to people who pay attention to them or feed them. The phenomenon is actually called “gifting”. I don’t feed my local crow family as there is plenty to eat without my intervention, but I do talk to them and generally love their presence, so maybe they feel that emotion and return the affection. I’ve read that crows (and other corvids) remember the faces of those who are mean to them and those who are especially kind.
Some of my neighbors don’t appreciate our community of crows as much as I do, and I’m positive they aren’t receiving the same kinds of gifts like I am.
I’m full of gratitude to my bird family Thank you, cousins!