|Morning sky, last day of Spring 2023|
'Tis really only the last day of spring, and although it's in my nature to celebrate seasonal changes--like tomorrow's solstice--most of what's worth anticipating is a (probably short) respite from the week's long Excessive Heat Warnings we've been living through for much of the month. That and quarter-sized hail and a scary, noisy night last week.
In fact, it hasn't really been all that bad; we've managed to avoid turning on an air conditioner until about 10 am each morning, and we have time to spend out of doors before shutting all the windows and drawing all the blinds and curtains. Even this morning, which required air-con to dispel the absurd humidity in the house at 6 am, gave us cool enough outdoor temperatures to get a few garden chores done. The Beloved Spouse mowed the back green patch, and I got a bit of bronze fennel transplanted into a pot to help keep our one black swallowtail caterpillar alive until he's ready to build his chrysalis. More on that in a bit.
At any rate, it's 90 F ("feels like" 100) now at noon, and we may actually be heading out of the worst of the heat. At least until the week-end, when we'll probably hit a genuine 100-102. So I plan to get out and frolic tomorrow morning when it's only 77; or maybe wait a day until it's down to 73.
So far, for most of the week, I've managed to get out with animals at breakfast and do the crossword, TBS has had some tennis practice, and my one wee beastie of a caterpillar has managed to fatten up on my now-depleted fennel plant without having been lunched upon by cardinals or anoles. This morning I managed to move him onto the newly potted fennel now housed in the butterfly haven I bought a few years ago but haven't yet used. A couple of days previously I had enveloped him in a mesh bag, but his new quarters are portable and there's much more food:
|Black Swallowtail caterpillar in mesh bag shelter|
|New digs; note eggs above stick|
|Stick on left, caterpillar on right; not sure where the eggs are|
What I didn't know until a few minutes ago, was that before I'd made off with the bronze fennel planted in another part of the garden, eggs had been laid on it! They look like more black swallowtail ova, and as a species they are fond of fennel, so we'll see. This does mean that if they hatch, I'll need to find some more fennel.