If you note dates, I posted about taking tiny caterpillars in on the porch less than a week ago.
We now have chrysalides. The warmer it is the faster caterpillars eat, and it’s been hot. Blazing hot. Cook-you-on-the-sidewalk hot. So hot the weather report gives warnings about not letting your pets walk on asphalt, they’ll burn their feet, it’s that hot.
Well, was that hot, when it wasn’t raining. For the past couple of days we’ve had scattered thunderstorms from a front sitting on top of us, meaning the local environs have gone from broil to simmer and steam-bake.
Hmm, steamed buns….
So. We also have very denuded milkweed plants. Note, for six caterpillars you really need at least three well-grown milkweeds for there to be ANY leaves left. (There are some.) Granted the milkweeds tend to sprout out again later, but it’s always shocking when they get eaten down to bare stems. Yes, caterpillars eat flowers and buds, too. In fact they’ll usually eat those first – less toxic!
And the porch is still swarming with tiny frogs. And sometimes tiny lizards. Anoles are even faster than frogs. All in all a good year for herps, looks like.
The Mexibell pepper thrives, but we’re not getting that variety again. It was advertised as a mildly hot bell pepper. It is instead, unfortunately, near-jalapeno levels of hot with a bitter taste. And a heat that takes a minute or so to kick in, lulling you into a false sense of security. The heat I can forgive, but not the bitterness.
The basil plants are doing well, even with surprising occupants. The tiny treefrogs love the basil. I’m used to treefrogs blending into the leaves of pepper plants, but our basils are full of froglets. They’re about the right shade of green (at least the green basils are), and the flowers do attract insects.
And if anyone’s wondering – yep, a lot of those froglets are local endemic Pine Barrens treefrogs. They look like tiny green and gilded jewels, hiding in the leaves.
…So, a dose of nature to counterbalance all the politics lately. I think we need it.