Nature continues apace! (So does work on Book 3, which I’m calling Wurstbreath at the moment, although the title will hopefully be "Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-Wurst" or something akin to it.)

A spicebush swallowtail cruised around the flowerbed this afternoon, sipping nectar from the scabiosa*. Another one showed up, and they chased one another around the yard, although whether they were fighting or exchanging contact information, I couldn’t tell you. I am pleased that we have spicebush swallowtails–I planted four spicebush shrubs (three of which are still incredibly dinky, mind you) and I’m hoping that eventually they’ll host a crop of caterpillars. (They also have fruit which birds love, but since all of them failed to flower this year, presumably owing to size, or lack thereof, that’ll have to wait a few years.) The homestead verbena is kickin’ butt, the French lavender, which I didn’t really want, but got free in a mail-order purchase, is putting up flowers and generally trying to ingratiate itself. (FINE, Lavender! You can stay–for now–but don’t get uppity!)

On the downside, the accursed bindweed put tendrils around my deciduous holly, which could not be allowed to stand. Out I went, ripping up vast quantities of the stuff and grumbling. Then I spotted wisteria–god, not wisteria!–and IT had to die as well.

I’m still not sure what to do about the discovery that all those flowering shrubs along the driveway are invasive autumn olive. Blargh. I’ll have to destroy them eventually, but some of the big ones may require a saw. It’s going to be a long weekend project, I suspect, and will require coating myself in DEET.

The holly seems undamaged by its brief assault. The male is flowering already. The females aren’t yet, so I’m hoping the male has staying power–I realize that "several weeks" is asking quite a lot of male stamina, but it’s rugged. (The male holly bushes that you get to fertilize the females all have variety names like "Apollo" and "Don Juan" so it’s not like they’re not setting up for it.)

The wild cranesbill that’s growing through the verge and over the gravel is starting to flower. I’m curious to see the flowers, because that’ll let me determine the species–if it’s Carolina cranesbill, or a relative, it can stay. If it’s a European invasive…well…maybe after I get to the autumn olive.

This post took about ten times as long to type as I intended, because Angus is feeling the luuuuuv and decided to sit on my lap and purr, wander about the desk and purr, and generally be loveable and in the way. Booting him from the lap works for about five seconds, and then he returns to go "I LOVE YOUPURRPURRPURR."

*Non-native, but butterflies love it, and it’s pretty and (most importantly!) non-invasive.

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