July 25, 2013: A Midsummer Gardener's Dream

I took photos from 3-4 p.m. today of what I have going on in my backyard. Hope you're enjoying the miracles of summer in your own backyard!  Feel free to post your news.

Monarch cats busy munching! 

Monarch cats busy munching! 

Dinner for two. Let's see; we'll order some milkweed!

Dinner for two. Let's see; we'll order some milkweed!

Fat black swallowtail cat enjoys its Queen Anne's Lace. 

Fat black swallowtail cat enjoys its Queen Anne's Lace. 

Woe! A male black swallowtail butterfly emerged around 2 p.m. because it was so cool this morning. Happy life! 

Woe! A male black swallowtail butterfly emerged around 2 p.m. because it was so cool this morning. Happy life! 

So many black swallowtail eggs hatch into cats all summer long this year! The female butterfly deposits eggs on my dill, and I feed the cats Queen Anne's Lace, which is one of the black swallowtail's host plants.

So many black swallowtail eggs hatch into cats all summer long this year! The female butterfly deposits eggs on my dill, and I feed the cats Queen Anne's Lace, which is one of the black swallowtail's host plants.

A silky smooth side of the red admiral chrysalis. I've been raising that species all summer as well! 

A silky smooth side of the red admiral chrysalis. I've been raising that species all summer as well! 

The smart black swallowtail caterpillar can create a chrysalis in green or brown depending on its environment! Has anyone ever called a caterpillar smart before?? 

The smart black swallowtail caterpillar can create a chrysalis in green or brown depending on its environment! Has anyone ever called a caterpillar smart before?? 

Why is the monarch chrysalis so stunningly beautiful??

Why is the monarch chrysalis so stunningly beautiful??

A full-grown black swallowtail cat scrunches itself up as it prepares to form its chrysalis on this stick. A butterfly will emerge in two weeks.

A full-grown black swallowtail cat scrunches itself up as it prepares to form its chrysalis on this stick. A butterfly will emerge in two weeks.

A single monarch egg is attached to the underside of a common milkweed leaf. I found five monarch eggs on a lone stalk of milkweed in the alley two days  ago. My milkweed this year is already drying up and it's full of milkweed beetles and aphids. Not good.  Not good at all.

A single monarch egg is attached to the underside of a common milkweed leaf. I found five monarch eggs on a lone stalk of milkweed in the alley two days  ago. My milkweed this year is already drying up and it's full of milkweed beetles and aphids. Not good.  Not good at all.

A baby black swallowtail remains and feeds on the dill where she was born. Her butterfly mom placed her there on purpose. 

A baby black swallowtail remains and feeds on the dill where she was born. Her butterfly mom placed her there on purpose. 

This is what my west garden looks like today. The butterfly bush just started to bloom. 

This is what my west garden looks like today. The butterfly bush just started to bloom. 

This is part of my milkweed garden in the back.  Milkweed is short and suffering a bit. Not sure why. The drought was last year! I lost a lot of my milkweed this summer. 

This is part of my milkweed garden in the back.  Milkweed is short and suffering a bit. Not sure why. The drought was last year! I lost a lot of my milkweed this summer. 

The dill garden is thriving, and I find many black swallowtail eggs here. Black swallowtails use dill, parsley, Queen Anne's Lace, fennel, or carrots as their host plant.

The dill garden is thriving, and I find many black swallowtail eggs here. Black swallowtails use dill, parsley, Queen Anne's Lace, fennel, or carrots as their host plant.