My first orders of business when I return from a trip are to check on the bunnies
and then to tour my plants to check for any changes.
To my shock and horror, when I peered into the baby fern box
my prized Dragon’s Tail fern/Aspleniaceae x Ebenoides was missing many fronds.
Not whole fronds. The midribs remained sticking out nakedly brown without the lovely green scales.
Something had eaten the Dragon’s Tails down to the bones.
There were droppings left on the dish below. Evidence.
A hungry caterpillar was feasting on my favorite fern.
I searched the soil before examining each frond.
I found a small green snacker, but knew he was not large enough to produce the poop.
Ah Ha! Bad, Bad Larva Brown. He and his little Green Sidekick were escorted outside.
Go pick on a bigger fern you bullies.
I hope little Dragon’s Tail can recover from this shock.
There is a whole world on one weed in my garden.
I did not kill this weed because of a hybrid I fell in love with in Tuscany.
So when I saw it growing on the bank, I staked it up to compare it with the hybrid.
What a wonderful weed it has been.
This wild Passion vine/Maypop/Passiflora incarnata has been a whole laboratory.
There are ants on the pods and stems.
The best part is all the caterpillars of various sizes.
Tiny, shiny, spiky, orange and black caterpillars of Fritillary butterflies.
I check on this plant every day and find something new.
An added bonus is a beautiful, blue morning glory that grew up into the Passion vine.
My daddy’s favorite color of blue, bluebird blue.
I have been blessed by this weed. I am so thankful I did not kill it.
Where would all those lovely caterpillars be? Nowhere, that’s where.
Follow the weed.
Butterflies do not just hatch from the egg with wings.
They must first go through a larval stage called caterpillar.
Then they have to bind themselves up for a while to go through metamorphosis.
While they are wrapped up(pupating) in the chrysalis (not pictured),
all their cells rearrange into a butterfly or moth. Then they have their wings.
Now everybody loves butterflies and colorful moths.
What if we went around killing all the weird and spiky worms in our yards?
Then there would be no lovely fliers later, because everyone killed them as babies.
If you don’t ” love some larvae”, leave them alone.
They are waiting for their wings.