I saw a giant swallowtail flitting around my lemon and orange trees on my back porch. I had never noticed how their inner and outer wing patterns were different until I took these pictures. Their host plants are typically citrus and I'm betting this one was a female laying her eggs. Their caterpillars look like bird droppings so I'm going to start looking for them in a few weeks.
On to the vegetable garden - my husband had more energy than I and decided to plant a fall garden. Here are tiny broccoli plants coming up - he's going to have a lot of thinning to do. The weeds are already coming up too - sigh. You can see how pretty the marigolds have gotten over the summer - these plants were one tiny plant in a 6 pack this spring.
We have winter squash coming up now as well. They will also need to be thinned. The bell peppers survived the hot summer with abundant fruit.
Broccoli in front and winter squash in the back.
Tomatoes from the spring are looking ratty but still producing some fruit. We decided not to pull them up. The cats cradle has done very well holding up the large tomatoes.
Our chickens get let out of the tractor in the late afternoon to roam around and search for bugs.
Another close up of the loaded bell pepper and jalapeno pepper plants.
Our persimmon tree is dying but it is giving this last year all it has - we'll be able to harvest its last crop in November before the first frost.
I found a wheel bug on the fig tree. This bug is beneficial in the garden. Read more about it here. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-09_wheel_bug.htm
The jujube tree is is also loaded with fruit. This fruit is similar in texture to an apple tree although not as juicy.
Close up of the jujube fruit.
The pear tree is also loaded with fruit this year.