Friday, July 31, 2009

In the pleasure grounds

There are monarch butterflies, and they seem to be laying eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves. We had found an empty chrysalis not all that long ago (on a milkweed plant). There are still about a dozen figs on the tree, difficult to access for squirrels. I don't know what's keeping the jays from them. We saw two lesser goldfinches recently, a first. Honeybees are here every day, and so are hummingbirds, or at least one, since we never seem to see more than one at a time. Attractions are Turk's caps, pride of Barbados, lantana, and milkweed. It appears that the pecans will be few this year, but they are forming. There are no blooms on the hyacinth beans, but there are a few on chile plants. The parsley that was eaten right down to nothing, courtesy of future swallowtail butterflies, are recovering very nicely. Determinate tomato plants seem to be done for, but indeterminate ones are renewing themselves. New hyacinth beans keep germinating; the heat doesn't bother them. Morning glories are coming into their own. A little fertilizer from the South Austin farmers' market appears to have prodded the plumbago into more profuse bloom. It's been surprising to see honeybees attracted to the ruellia. Fennel hasn't produced much in the way of seeds so far this summer; we can hope for better results if the weather ever becomes cooler.


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