Monday, May 03, 2010

Citrus Beast

But enough of your blueberry boasting, FC, tell us of your blackberries.

Well, glad you asked ... I planted two different varieties last year, ... Arapaho a thornless variety for wusses, and a good old Brazos vine complete with manly thorns.

I had tried the thornless variety a few years ago in a moment of wussiness, but the vine just ... well, it withered on the vine, so to speak.

Last year, I gave Arapaho another chance, in case it was something I had done, but this time, I planted it side by side with a Brazos as my control.

A year later, the Brazos is threatening to take over a big chunk of the garden and is loaded with leaves and blossoms.

The thornless Arapaho is ... you guessed it ... withering.

Case closed.
I'm sticking with thorny Brazos from now on.

While I was admiring my berries, this scary beast glared at me from the satsuma tree.

Well, he WANTS to be scary anyway, but the whole act is wasted on bipedal apes with 3.5 pound brains.

I suppose it does give the occasional bird heart palpitations.

Just another giant swallowtail larvae munching on my citrus tree. The tree is so loaded with foliage that I am going to share for now. I counted only two bigguns and one tiny bird poop instar yesterday.

I'm willing to trade a few leaves for a few giant swallowtails.


kevin said...

I ran through so many blackberry vines as a kid I'm surprised I still have feet. I can't seem to find them now though, maybe I should plant a couple.

Sandcastle Momma said...

I planted thornless blackberries and they turned out to have lots of thorns. But the berries are big and sweet so I'm ok with that.

Dani said...

Come to Dani's house little swallowtails!

Caroline said...

Might not be scary to a bipedal ape, but it animated bird droppings would have a startle quality to them! I would trade a few leaves for a few giant swallowtails too, they don't range up here.

robin andrea said...

Nice swallowtail larvae pic. I found a yellow swallowtail caterpillar once up in Washington, it had those beautiful false eyes. A truly great looking little creature.

We have tons of blackberry vines here. Some are natives, but mostly we have some invasive species. Still, the fruit is sweet and much appreciated.

Floridacracker said...

Add in the palmetto teeth and it's a wonder we have any legs too!

The literature did say Arapaho does better in extreme north FL so that makes sense!

I shall whisper that in their "ears".

The little ones look just like bird poo.

Blackberry pie, blackberry cobbler, blackberry jam, blackberry shakes, ...

lisa said...

Those last two shots were pretty amazing!

Floridagirl said...

Can't say I'm a huge fan of blackberries, thanks to those horrid thorns, but the flowers are beautiful in bloom. Great photos of the caterpillar!

CT said...

Seems like a fair trade to me.

Just the Right Size said...

Lucky you! I would love to have more of those "monsters" on my lemon tree!

Aunty Belle said...

I jes' as't Uncle to bring home some dug up wild blackberry vines from the huntin' camp....but now ya make me wanna give them Brazos a thar' a good nursery fer them that ya recommend?

Ya have peppers, citrus, blueberries and blackberries...ah, bamboo, a tilapia pond...bee' who knows what I left out--but, FC, thas' impressive.

Well, the catepillar is scary lookin' to me--but mebbe mah brain is jes' 2.5 lbs.

Thunder Dave said...

Blackberries make some pretty good wine! Hey it looked like Bear made a new friend the other day!

Floridacracker said...


Thorns are a challenge to be sure. Glad you liked the caterpillar!

We agree on this.

Just Right,
They will probably find you!

... or maybe you are just bug-skeered.
I am in to diversity of critters and diversity of food here. Thanks for noticing. As for Brazos, I got mine from Lowes, but I bet you have someone selling them near ya.
I'm coming over to the front porch with a link for ya, Aunty.

Ha! I might have known!

LaDivaCucina said...

I like your Buddhist's way of sharing your tree with the swallowtails. I tried to do that with my garden and a fat squirrel when I used to live in Chicago but he was too greedy and then wouldn't share with ME!!