Now, this may not be the type of “wildlife sightings” report on the city that Somerville Voices expected to cover. But it’s what’s happening today at my house, and I wanted to share it. (with video)
Today is the day we wait all winter for. Perfect temperatures, sunshine, breeze, and the lilacs are blooming in my yard. The really sweet thing, though, is that the lilac has become Grand Central Butterfly today. I have identified at least 3 species that have come by to dance and snack on my tree. The number of Red Admirals is astounding. I spotted one Lady (but I didn’t have the camera to catch and see if it was an American or Painted Lady). And the black swallowtails have been just stunning.
Video of my swallowtails:
I checked to see if there were other butterfly stories on Somerville Voices. I was only able to find information about a toxic weed that harms them. And that’s important–we should try to eliminate that. Perhaps, though, you’d like to know about a plant that grows well here and that the butterflies love. My lilac is a Korean lilac, obtained from Mahoney’s Nursery about 10 years ago. It had a sort of sad Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Tree sort of look in its pot when I bought it. But now 10 years later that tree is well over 6 feet tall and blooming like crazy. And the butterflies love it.
What’s growing well in your yard? What attracts beneficial insects to your bit of land?
There was a recent conflama over some remarks by Peter Kareiva of The Nature Conservancy. He was suggesting that although remote and pristine wild places are nice–but they aren’t the only places to find biological wonder and amazement. I’m with Kareiva–I could watch the traffic to this lilac all day, in the most densely populated place around, and find great pleasure in that.
I hope you had a lovely day too.