Waiting For The Giants

Giant butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Pigeon Mountain, GA

Here we are in the first week of July, and we are waiting. Here in my more than 2 year old natives garden, in Eatonton, Georgia, today was a good day: Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, American Snouts, Buckeyes, and 6 species of Skippers. Those who say that these last months have seen a dearth of butterflies, well compared to last year in the 303 Garden, they are correct.

Jock Stender of Charleston, South Carolina came along this week to see Virginia’s Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, and today they stopped by to see our own 303 Garden. No mind that I was showing him around in 95F heat. It was fun finally meeting him and his friend, and we shared lots about the native plants that I showed him, and the butterflies we found.

We did not, did not, see any Giant Swallowtails today. Fact of the matter is, I’ve not seen a Giant in my sizable garden since March of this year, when a worn female flew in. We later found 3 Giant caterpillars, on their hostplant, Hercules Club. We enjoyed watching them grow, but, alas, they all disappeared shortly after. The usual suspects?

So we wait for the Giants and we watch our Tithonia grow, some of them now 3 feet tall, growing daily to their eventual 7 feet to 8 feet height.

We are some 1.1 miles from Virginia Linch’s Briar Patch Habitat, and when her army of Mexican Sunflowers open, and our platoon of Tithonia open, I have little doubt that the Giants will gracefully float in, and spend hours, sipping the must-be-sweet nectar of those beautiful sunflowers.


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