Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spring in the forest

Walking in the woods
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Birch juice!
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Poor, cold inchworm
Originally uploaded by fylliska.

Originally uploaded by fylliska.

As you can see from the photos, we had a wonderful walk yesterday! I was starting to think that it was too early for the sap to be flowing, but we finally did find one tree that was just starting to drip. We set up a bottle to catch some juice, but it was very slow, so we left it. When Jaan and I went back today, someone had taken our bottle. Oh, well! This is just the very beginning of spring, so we'll try again.

While we were out, we saw the first few butterflies of spring, the first flowers, and one little inchworm. The best find of all was a fat, hairy caterpillar. It was floating on a piece of ice in a puddle. We brought it home, but we're a little puzzled about what to feed it. There's not much green yet. I guess it overwintered?


BabaJulie said...

Wow! That sure doesn't look like our Spring!! Where are the flowers and budding trees, etc? Awhile yet, huh? This Southern gal would never make it!! Everything here is in full bloom now, just in time for Easter! The grass is about 6 inches high, screaming to be cut! And, the pollen is everywhere! Spring has sprung! I have taken several pictues and will send them soon! Hugs and Kisses!

Anonymous said...

Your photo sings beautifully of the father/son bond. We look forward to the next installments.

With much love....

BabaJulie said...

Addendum - Harvesting the birch juice is very cool! What an experience! Love!

BabaJulie said...

Hi! I keep seeing new things! So, there are flowers and butterflies and caterpillars and inch worms! (We have lots of those and they eat everything!) Can the caterpillar eat some of your plants? He might like a pumpkin plant leaf! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Just for you, Phyllis. I went out in the garden yesterday to survey the caterpillars and butterflies. The citrus trees are just finishing flowering with large quantities of fruit starting to set. The avocado tree you and Leetra started over twenty years ago is setting fruit for its second year. For the first time, a banana tree is growing fruit (4 or 5 hands).

Oops, I almost forgot the butterflies. I spotted Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, Ceraunus Blues, Cloudless Sulphurs, Polydamus and unidentified skippers. Earlier in the week, I saw an Admiral, a Painted Lady, a Giant Swallowtail and a Tiger Swallowtail.

We are finding a number of caterpillars.
Polydamus (Gold-rimmed Swallowtail)
Gulf Fritillaries

I acquired some Buckeyes and Red Admirals from Edith Smith. Only one Admiral made it to chrysalis, and it has already been released. I have 8 Buckeye chrysalids which should be coming out in a few days.

The backyard is ready for legions of caterpillars. I have passionvine, pipevine, milkweed, false nettles (Red Admirals), Spice Bush, Sweet Bay, Red Bay, citrus, twin flower, cassia and more. The salad bar awaits, O voracious caterpillars!