Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3.25 inches in one day & il bruco verde

Clay soil

Look at that lovely color of clay. That's what I get for excavating and ripping out a whole area of wild strawberries, and in turn, received payback in the form of erosion. The downpour this past Friday totaled almost 3½ inches in a few hours, and I was worried for the damage that would inevitably happen on our garden slope. Thank goodness only torn leaves and nicked tomatoes during an instance of hail. The strawberries, looking more robust than ever the day after, are about the size of a fingernail and very sweet. They flourish like weeds in the back lot - I was so excited the first time I tried them (they grow all over the mountainside) and would raid the patches every season. That was pre-garden, because as our edible eden took shape, the strawberries were always in the way. We don't have any wild critters to curb the berry population. Come to think of it, we don't have a problem with birds either, but I credit the dogs for chasing them out of the yard during the day.

Bruco verde

I was going to ask for help in identifying this orange & black-spotted caterpillar, but after googling bruco verde (green caterpillar), I eventually found the connection to Old World Swallowtail. The only butterflies that I've ever known are monarchs, so this is somewhat of a thrill as there are two caterpillars on the wild fennel. This one in particular stayed in the same position all day long! Neither camera-in-its-space or petting its back made any difference whatsoever. He must have had too much to eat and fell asleep right away.

Average daytime temperature: 24°C / 75°F

12 comments:

  1. that is a huge caterpillar, the ones I've seen in Japan are fuzzy and kind of "sting" people with their fuzz...hope you get to see the butterfly!!

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  2. Kat - I just measured the caterpillars and one is about 2 inches in length while the other at 1½. Honestly they are such lazy things but remind me of the monarch caterpillars in Hawaii.

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  3. Rowena, that is a really wonderful picture of that caterpillar. I have been out in the forest when a Monarch butterfly migration was happening. They all fly in a line together and it went on for hours! Another thing I have found out in the forest is wild strawberries and they are so incredibly flavorful compared to the domesticated strawberries. But unfortunately I never found large quantities of them. I've always wanted to make one little jar of freezer jam out of them to be opened on Christmas. That's one of my lifes' wishes. :)

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  4. Gail - oh how I would love to see something as majestic as that. It must have made such a sight to see them all in a line!

    As I type [10:15pm] it is raining and hailing again. I'll be lucky if I get anything out of the tomatoes this year.

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  5. Sorry to hear about your erosion, we could use some of that rain you got. No rain here for weeks. It's a dry spell. :( What a gorgeous swallowtail caterpillar. Can't wait to see the magnficent transformation. :)

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  6. Gorgeous catepillar. Reminds me of the one on 'A Bug's Life' that grew tiny wings.

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  7. Lovely caterpillar! I haven't seen one of these, although we must have them as the garden is full of the adult swallowtail butterflies. I hope they don't eat too much of your fennel!

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  8. PerennialGardener - if only I could send some over your way! We continue to have occasional periods of heavy thunderstorms so I guess it's safe to say that we're having a wet summer this year. :(

    Scintilla, Chaiselongue - the caterpillars are gone! No pupae to be found, so I guess the birds got them. :°(

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  9. Rowena, I wanted to tell you (so I will now) that I REALLY wanted to give you that Honest Blog award but Amber beat me to it. I'm fairly new to this blogging thing so I am unsure of blogging ettiquette. Someone needs to write that book!

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  10. Gail - to tell the truth, I have a hard time keeping up with awards as there are simply too many of them circulating the net. It's enough for me that you keep sharing news from your side of the world!

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  11. hey


    Just saying hello while I read through the posts


    hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

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  12. Anon - I don't spend as much time as I'd like to on this garden blog, but then if I had a really huge garden I prolly wouldn't have the energy left to blog about it. This year I just hope there won't be any blasted hail!

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