Swallowtail Tale

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This is JeffreyW’s swallowtail photo

I keep meaning to tell this story, but with so much going on I kept forgetting. My first weekend in the house, I was in the garden and there was a swallowtail sitting on a daylily leaf, drinking the morning dew off of it. I thought I’d help him out and dipped my hand in the dog water bowl. I went over to dribble it down the leaf for him when he stepped into my hand and drank from there.

It was awesome. And I figured a good sign.

My plan going forward is to turn the front garden bed into a butterfly garden, complete with a watering station.

Butterfly Water Feeder (“Puddlers”) Butterfly water feeders really aren’t necessary to supply water and butterflies don’t need bird baths or ponds because they get the liquid they need from nectar. However, they need places to “puddle,” as “puddling” provides the critical minerals that butterflies require. Here are a couple ways to create puddlers that butterflies will love. Spread a thin layer of dirt in the bottom of a shallow pie pan or dish. Arrange some rocks in the pan so the butterflies have a place to land. Cut a kitchen sponge into various shapes and arrange the sponges between the rocks, or put one large sponge in the center of the plate. Keep the sponges damp so the water slowly seeps to keep the soil moist. Put the puddler in a sunny, protected area near butterfly-friendly flowers where you can keep an eye on the visitors. A similar version of a puddler is to bury a shallow plate or bowl in the ground so the lip of the container is even with the surface of the soil. Fill the container with sand, then arrange a few rocks or wood chunks on the soil for landing spots. Add water as needed to keep the sand consistently wet. Butterflies will love it!

And since having two hummingbirds visit  – one in the backyard and one at my office window box- I’ll make sure we are hummingbird friendly, as well.

BTW, still need to name the snake under my front steps. It really is a tiny little Eden in the middle of our little city.

I’m off to keep working on the Iris nursery – I’m relocating all the irises to the nursery, next spring I’ll photograph the colors and decide where to relocate them as I rearrange the beds. Right now Bixby is trying to kill them all with his big gollomping feet.