Mid Atlantic Gardening forum: Re-homing "Killer"

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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Oct 7, 2014 11:07 AM CST
It was just a joke, naming "my" BST cat and subsequent butterfly "Killer", but the name stuck. Green Grin!

The joke was just, oh, this butterfly is going to be the one who manifests the famous "butterfly effect" and changes global warming back to normal and also cleans up the oceans, etc.

It came about because I was being teased about trying to protect a butterfly that would likely end up a bird's dinner. I said, oh no, this is Killer the Avenging Butterfly and birds better watch out! Hilarious!

That was all while I still hoped Killer would do his butterfly thing while it was still September. Now, it's clear Killer is a hibernating Avenging Butterfly, so I need to find him an outdoor home. (Or her.)

I located a great spot inside the large gardenia next to the shed in the back yard. Gardenias are evergreens so he would continue to be hidden away and somewhat protected in there. Also, it's on the south side of the building and protected by the building's outer wall. Plus, it's right next to my potting area so I can sorta keep an eyeball on Killer's situation there. Birds aren't real likely to be checking that place out, either.

I was looking at the bush today, considering which inner branch would be best, and I found these odd teeny pillowy dough-like things that seem to be cocoons of some kind. I posted these pics in the Bug ID forum too and hope somebody will know what they are!
Thumb of 2014-10-07/kylaluaz/42dcde Thumb of 2014-10-07/kylaluaz/ae58fa

Not the greatest pictures but worth a try!

I thought I'd post about it here too, when I go ahead and move Killer out there. Probably not until next week. For now he's safe next to my work table in the bedroom.

I hope.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
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Catmint20906
Oct 7, 2014 4:54 PM CST

Moderator

Sounds like you have a good winter home picked out for 'Killer'. (poor butterfly--maybe you can change her name when she hatches Whistling )

I'm going to need to move my 4 remaining BST chrysalises onto the front porch area. 2 are stuck to the top of the butterfly habitat, so I'll move the whole habitat out.

Interesting blobs. I hope someone will have an ID for you and that whatever it is, is benign.
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Oct 7, 2014 5:12 PM CST
I can't see enough detail to guess, Kyla, but have you looked at mantis ootheca (egg case)?
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Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Oct 7, 2014 5:15 PM CST

Moderator

I was wondering about that too, Chelle, but they don't look like the mantis egg cases I've had in the past. Maybe they come in different shapes? :-)
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
[Last edited by Catmint20906 - Oct 7, 2014 5:15 PM (+)]
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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Oct 7, 2014 6:18 PM CST
No, I don't think that's it, Chelle and Catmint -- the pictures show those as much larger, for one thing, and this is pure white and kind of doughy looking, reminds me of nothing so much as a teeny dab of biscuit dough stitched to a twig. (There are what look like stitches around the edges!)
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Oct 7, 2014 6:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Oct 7, 2014 6:31 PM CST
Anything look close on these 5 pages? http://bugguide.net/node/view/285060/bgimage?from=0
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Oct 7, 2014 6:43 PM CST
Wow. You'd think so, but, nope. Still, maybe it is spider egg cases of some kind.

Why do I not have an entomologist buddy? (That's the term, right? for people who study bugs?) I could just call up and say "Hey, Maxine, come look at this thing and tell me what the heck you think it is!" Green Grin!

What's really cool about all this, or one thing really cool, is that on another forum I frequent (which has nothing to do with gardening) there's a young guy in the UK who is very intrigued by all this and is asking very protective questions about whether Killer is going to be safe outside, and hopes this white thing I found doesn't have something in it that will be dangerous for Killer, etc. It's quite endearing!

:)
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Catmint20906
Oct 7, 2014 7:32 PM CST

Moderator

that's quite an assortment of egg sacs, Chelle!

Seems like they would be awfully big spiders, Kyla! Sticking tongue out
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
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LysmachiaMoon
Oct 8, 2014 6:11 AM CST
Killer *snort giggle* Green Grin!
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
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kylaluaz
Oct 8, 2014 7:54 AM CST
Yes! And as one of my friends pointed out, we've had monster spiders and monster grasshoppers (?) but never yet until now! has there been a monster butterfly! (Killer the Avenger, that is.)

I wouldn't know, not being a horror movie afficionado, but, yeah.

Also, I feel, in this world of dire threats to all things innocent and small, having a name like Killer might serve this butterfly quite well.

I once knew a couple who had a cat that was very shy and fearful, so they named her Certain. They said it helped her self-confidence greatly.

Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Oct 8, 2014 8:08 AM CST
Bringing this back to gardening, that couple lived next door to the second place I gardened. They had a delightful maybe 3 or 4 year old son whom I remember standing next to me in my garden and letting me feed him sugar snap peas off the vine.

That was long enough ago the butterflies, if threatened, had not yet made the news. Monarchs were everywhere.

This morning there was a (very late!) Monarch flying around the back yard. Didn't land on anything, so Ihope it finds what it needs. Every time I see a butterfly I promise "I'll have more for you next year!"

Hilarious!
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Oct 8, 2014 8:08 AM (+)]
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Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Oct 9, 2014 5:35 AM CST
For the curious, @JRsbugs identified this for me: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Ceroplastes+japonicus&sour...
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Oct 9, 2014 5:44 AM CST

Moderator

Eww. For the serious bug lover I see! Can't tell what it is on my cell. Is it a spider?
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Oct 9, 2014 5:50 AM CST
Catmint20906 said:Eww. For the serious bug lover I see! Can't tell what it is on my cell. Is it a spider?


It's a 'scale insect'. Big Grin
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Oct 9, 2014 7:58 AM CST

Moderator

fun! :-D
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Oct 12, 2014 3:11 PM CST
Okay. I think tomorrow is the day Killer moves outdoors. We turned the heat on briefly today and I don't want Killer inside a heated room! So, out he goes!
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Oct 13, 2014 8:01 AM CST
And, today is the day!

Here is Killer in a beautiful, woody-looking chrysalis, sitting outside next to his winter home. Now you see him:
Thumb of 2014-10-13/kylaluaz/299dff

Now you don't:
Thumb of 2014-10-13/kylaluaz/c29a69

There is a little white spot in that picture that is one of the twist ties holding his stick to the branch. But in this picture you can't even see that:
Thumb of 2014-10-13/kylaluaz/856c5e

I did try for a close up with the twist ties, but it was too out of focus. And I decided that white was still too visible, so I took some extra strength plastic garden tie and wrapped the white:
Thumb of 2014-10-13/kylaluaz/4cfeed

And here is a decent closeup of Killer in his (or her, sorry!) new home:
Thumb of 2014-10-13/kylaluaz/ae8701

This is right next to my potting area and work space, the gardenia is an evergreen, it's on the south side of the shed there, so it's as safe a place as I could come up with! I'll be keeping an eye on the li'l guy.
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Oct 13, 2014 8:19 AM CST

Moderator

Nice home! Killer should do very well there for the winter :-)
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Oct 13, 2014 10:43 AM CST
I hope so! It feels different in here, with him gone, too. I look up and, no Killer! and then I remember, oh yeah!

Green Grin!
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
Composter Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Herbs Daylilies Sempervivums
Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
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kylaluaz
Mar 23, 2015 3:39 PM CST
Killer is gone. I don't know if he made it to butterfly-hood, or if something ate the chrysallis. All I know is, yesterday it was still there, attached to its branch, and today it is gone and no sign of it.

I suppose it's possible that late yesterday afternoon when the sun was warm, he made it out. If so I hope there are enough flowers open to feed him!
[Last edited by kylaluaz - Mar 23, 2015 3:51 PM (+)]
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