Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A friend found this caterpillar on asters, and I decided to bring it home to raise it. I thought maybe it was a crescent, but crescents are supposed to overwinter as caterpillars, and I just don't see how this caterpillar could be that old, since the asters were planted from seed last winter. I guess I could just wait to see what butterfly emerges, but now I think it may overwinter as a chrysalis, and I just don't want to wait until next spring. So, can anybody identify it from my mediocre photos? The chrysalis is about 1/2" and pupated today, 25 Aug 2009.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Andy and I went to Strybing in San Francisco for the Garden Fair. We didn't take any plants to sell this time, so it we had less to schlep and it was easier. Andy outdid himself with the displays, and people were so impressed! More people this year, perhaps people are going to garden fairs instead of doing a garden tour in Europe because of the economy. The kenilworth ivy with white flowers growing in the garden walls was enchanting. Usually it has lavender flowers, which I like, but I also like the white. It is the larval host plant for buckeye butterflies. It love cracks in steps and walls and perfers a shady spot with moisture. It is sometimes available at nureries, but why buy it when you can "borrow" some from a neighbor! Do ask before digging. ;-)

Here is a student working on one of my butterfly paper crafts. I hear that they kids really enjoy them and learn about butterflies and butterfly flight using them. I usually recommend that the students compare the flight of the papercraft to the flight of a real butterfly. It gets the kids outdoors looking for and really watching butterflies. Different butterflies have different flight patterns, also, so it gets them thinking about that if they see more than one species. It is a great learning tool, but of course, I am a bit biased.