Thursday, June 23, 2011

First Tiger Lily

First lily of the season
Found this big guy this morning.  Don't know how I missed him.
This morning my bed of tiger lilies were all buds waiting to burst. This evening one of them had opened.  I always love the first blooms.

Meanwhile, I have counted four milkweed plants with caterpillar activity.  And as many times as I check on them, I was surprised to find a really big guy on one of the leaves.

There are also the disappointments. Seeing signs of caterpillar presence and then not finding anything.  Ants like to eat eggs and larvae and will take it back to their own nests to feed their colony. Spiders and Asian lady beetle larvae and adults also take their toll.

Yep, that's caterpillar poop!
How do I know there were monarch caterpillar's present?  The state of the milkweed is a sure sign.  If there are holes in the leaves, a caterpillar has been munching. And the bigger the holes, the larger the caterpillar.  Caterpillar droppings are also quite evident the larger they get.

With all this concentrating on the caterpillar, I need to start thinking of planting some more nectar plants for the adult butterflies to feed on.  If it ever stops raining long enough to plant something!

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