Butterflies, loquats, nigella
Although a frost took some potential loquat fruits, those remaining are very large and juicy. They have been attracting clouds and clouds of red admiral butterflies, which drink directly of the fruit's juice via any breach of the skin. Also seen in the vicinity, although to a lesser extent are many question mark butterflies. Every day we see some gulf fritillary butterflies among the passion vines, and some dark-form giant swallowtail butterflies and a few pipevine swallowtail butterflies. A great surprise arrival among the flowers are white and also blue nigella blossoms. They seem to have grown from seeds in a decade-old promotional free packet of mixed flower seeds. Before the flowers appeared, the plants had gone unremarked, on the theory that they were self-sown fennel seedlings. The flowers were recognized immediately, and the recollection of their name came without effort, although none had ever grown here and none have been observed around town in anybody's yard. Sweet peas are at a peak right now. Pecan flowers are falling. A gray fox was seen one morning at 4:30 am and again a few days ago at about 6 am. Passion flowers have continued to bloom, with from two to nine per day lasting about 24 hours. They attract honeybees and orchard mason bees. French harlequin marigolds are beginning to bloom. Corn poppies volunteered near the street, as did one delphinium, about to bloom. Coreopsis plants, flowering both single and double, loved the winter weather and are spectacular right now. The persisting cool nights are a treat. Who could possibly complain about this spring?