April 18, 2012

Hurtling by at Sixty Minutes An Hour...

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour...whatever he does, whoever he is.   ~ C.S. Lewis

My sweet friend, Susie, is an encourager.  She posted this quote recently and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  Although it may feel like spring is hurtling by, time isn't moving any faster than usual.  We all have the same sixty minutes every hour and I'm determined to make the most of them during this glorious season.

Finally, our shy resident...appearing a little grumpy!  A couple people have suggested that as the eggs hatch and the nest gets more crowded, the female will roost on nearby branches while the owlets hang out in the box.  Hopefully then, I'll have more to show you.  Until then, I catch quick glimpses and chronicle them as I can.

Spring is in hyper-drive around here. Oh, wait.  No, sixty minutes an hour...

Anyone out there know what kind of caterpillar this is?

They were all over the garden last week and there are now several chrysalis' hanging around on the side of the garage.

I'll keep watching and will hopefully get a shot of one emerging.

This predatory fly was on the garage wall too.  Possibly taking advantage of the plentiful supply of caterpillars and beetle larvae.

The lambs ear has been chewed to pieces looking as though it's been used for target practice.  Beetles and caterpillars have been discovered on the poor thing and plucked off and dropped into a soapy water solution.

The Turk's cap has proved to be delicious for this hungry little caterpillar. {Do you see it...lower right hand corner...tiny, tiny}  I've been physically removing any pests that I find but I'll bet the predatory fly is helping out with the population too.

A sense of humor is especially important this spring. I'm growing dill, parsley, celery and milkweed to feed hungry caterpillars and the irony that not one of these plants has been eaten is not lost on me!  There is still plenty of time for the swallowtails and monarchs to find these plants but it does make me shake my head.  Gardening is a lesson in patience, no?

There is an astounding population of Red Admirals in Austin this spring.  It's a wonderful sight often filling me with a complete sense of admiration and joy for the miracle of them! 

Dozens {no exaggeration} of Red Admirals flit about enjoying the plentiful and intoxicating flowers of the star jasmine, Jerusalem sage and roughleaf dogwood.


Last year's experiment of growing hostas in containers went well.  They've sprung to life this week and look really nice tucked into bare spots around the shady perennial beds.  Their broad, beautifully textured leaves add a tropical lushness to the garden.

The rock rose is blooming and is a bright addition to the border of a part-shade bed.  This plant can suffer from powdery mildew when grown in shade so I've given it plenty of breathing room.

I've posted often of my fondness for orange globe mallow.  This pink variety is much more demure but no less pretty.  Planted last spring, it held on through the heat and drought of last summer not growing much.  This spring it shines with clusters of pale pink flowers atop velvety, gray/green foliage.  Not as showy, the pink pulls you in for a closer inspection asking you to slow down long enough to admire her.

Even with all the hungry bugs and spring feeling as if it's tearing by, it doesn't disappoint in the least.  A relaxing couple of hours spent in a playful friend's garden reinforce the value of moving slowly, breathing deeply and enjoying friendship. 

Here is Deb enjoying a nasturtium blossom from her garden.  Deb is one of the most playful people I've ever met...she is a fellow Master Gardener and full of surprises.  A little more on that later...it requires a whole post!

She seeded the greenbelt behind her fence with wildflowers last fall and a lovely small meadow now flourishes with a variety of flowers and butterflies.   Neighbors enjoy the beautiful scene as they stroll the nearby path.
I hope you're finding encouraging, playful friends to enjoy this alluring spring with...don't let it zip by without taking time to notice.  It's amazing out there!


  1. The caterpillar and chrysalis photos are stunning! I found one I couldn't identify in my garden this morning as well. And that swing next to blooming jasmine must be a heavenly place to sit.

  2. I just love that grumpy owl peering out. How fortunate you are to have this show in your yard.

    I'm looking forward to a post on your friend the Master Gardener and Nasturtium Muncher!

  3. Great post and lovely pics, but dont expect me to eat the cellery ;-)

  4. You seem to be running on ahead of many of us Cat so maybe we are in different time dimensions let alone zones! A beautiful uplifting post - the owls, red admirals and the last image which catches the flight of grace on the wing

  5. I love the shot of your grumpy owl! How wonderful that they are nesting in your backyard AND even better, that you are able to capture them in pictures! Gorgeous shots of the caterpillar and chrysalis'. Thank you for identifying as Red Admirals the tiny butterflies that are all over my yard too! I wasn't sure what they were, but have enjoyed them all spring. Thanks for the reminder that time only moves as fast as time does. Enjoy each moment. No one is not promised tomorrow.

  6. Oh how I envy your owls! I must figure out where to mount a box in my back yard. The butterflies are amazing this year... thanks for naming them... didn't know what they were!

  7. All I can say is... Wowwww!!! :)

  8. I think it's a morning cloak butterfly. nymphalis antiopa. in the same family as admirals (brushfoots), live up to 10 months. elms, hackberrys,cottonwoods,willows for larva I remember seetin them on cottonwood trees when I was a young boy. we used to throw them at each other. (you probably understand that stupidity having boys.)

  9. What a great spring this has been.

    That owl is adorable. I need to put an owl house on our list.

  10. I saw a red admiral in my garden over the weekend but it fluttered by before I could ID it so I'm grateful for your pictures! LOVE the owl house!! I hear owls in my neighborhood but never see them. Time is such a conumdrum - always too fast when we need it to be slow, but always too slow when we want it to go fast.

  11. Thanks, Greggo. There is a hackberry out there in the greenbelt. Thanks for giving me a place to start. I was mystified. And yes, I understand male playfulness completely ;)

  12. A very good quote! I think the problem, however, is that I only have 24 hours in each day...

    That owl is so cute! How great to have owls! It's always a great thing to see the return of the butterflies as well. The first butterfly of the season flitting past the window is an irresistible invitation to follow it outside into the world of spring.

    How great to find caterpillars and cocoons! I see lots of holes in my leaves, but can never find who is munching on them!

  13. Hi Cat, Spring is zipping by isn't it! Love the clematis by the porch swing. That butterfly caterpillar and cocoon are quite lethal looking. I guess with all the predators around, they need all the protection that they can get. Love the portraits of Deb.

  14. What a wonderful post, look at all those little visitors to your springtime garden! I love that caterpillar pic, wonderful composition! Also, your Hosta's are so healthy, green and un-eaten...love them! mine have been devoured by slugs already this year =( Gorgeous pics as always Cat...xx

  15. As with the weeds, this spring has brought so many bugs and caterpillars. And, most are very good at hiding.

    I keep seeing the globe mallow. I'm just going to have to get one. Very pretty.

  16. Sowa podejrzliwie spogląda z budki i zastanawia się czemu jej robią zdjęcie. Śliczny motyl z ostatniego zdjęcia nie ma tego problemu, jest zbyt zajęty. Pozdrawiam.
    Owl looks suspiciously with booths and wondering why they do the picture. Beautiful butterfly with the last picture does not have this problem, is too busy. Yours.

  17. Wonderful shots of your spring hurtling by, Cat. And you seem to have a nice calm attitude about all the visitors 'enjoying' your garden treats. Looks like there's lots to go around.

    We're heading back up north where spring is still on the horizon.

    Have a great weekend.

  18. We've had an incredible number of caterpillars. Everything in my garden has been nibbled, but now I'm seeing the payoff. There are butterflies everywhere. Very cool.

  19. As always great shots!! I saw some of those caterpillars around as well- not sure what kind they are. And yes, the Red Admirals are everywhere!!!! I have a few of the Swallowtails as well but just realized I didn't get shots of any yesterday. The Admirals by far outnumber the others though.
    How exciting on the owl update!!! I can't wait to see the babies! Great shot of mamma peering down at you from above.
    The Globe Mallows are a favorite of mine as well, in both colors. Our orange sometimes throws off red ones too which I think is cool. Neat little plant.

  20. So wonderful to experience spring in your garden. It goes by so quick! Thank you - just love your inspirational photos!

  21. Love the quote. Love the caterpillar, and all the bug photos!

  22. What a great portrait of your friend Deb. I'm grateful for that lovely couple of hours in YOUR garden yesterday. Thanks again!


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

Thanks for taking the time to visit!