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Purple Hairstreak

Purple Hairstreak on sweet pea

I was busy taking adoring photos of my sweet peas last week (and I am embarrassed to say just how many) when I noticed the flicker of a jewel color on one of them. Sometimes even flies have iridescence, and so I ignored it until the flicker kept moving. Thankfully, this beautiful little creature had patience on me, as I crept closer. I’d never seen this butterfly before, the male Purple Hairstreak, but thanks to butterfly siting galleries i was able to identify him and his nearby friend who was also resting very contentedly on a sweet pea flower.

And I don’t blame them at all; I could snooze for years next to this fragrance. This year, I tried a new sweet pea from a seller in England, a mix of colors called Winter Sunshine. They are just slightly more fragrant than Winter Elegance or Royal sweet peas, and like all early-blooming sweet peas, they started blooming in early February.

With all my projects (and my obsession with caring for the sweet peas, I’ve barely been able to keep up with what else is blooming right now.

Just past its stage is the wild jonquil, which bloomed a few weeks ago. These are the “Early Louisiana” strain of the wild jonquil, which is known to reproduce in the South. I hope to see them again next year, because their fragrance for such a tiny thing far surpasses any daffodil I’ve tried.

My Texas Mountain Laurel is in its second year of pouting. Last year I got only one bloom, this year I got 3 tiny ones. My tree is about 7 feet tall now, and I do nothing to it. I hope our ecstatic pruning about 3 years ago didn’t hurt things so I’m leaving it alone. But I’m content to take walks through our neighborhood where many mature mountain laurels are filling the air with that grape-juice fragrance.

My favorite rose of all, Souvenir de la Malmaison, started blooming a month ago and is still putting out more buds. I have not treated this rose very well in the last year, or maybe I should say the weather hasn’t, but she is still kind enough to reward me with her lavish blooms. (Can I say I took 100 macro photos of this, just so I could get the folds in focus?)

Also in bloom are Snowflakes and a whole host of daffodils–Erlicheer, Sweetness, Grand Primo, Avalanche, Carlton and Ice Follies. I’ve got some pictures of those just waiting…

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