Featured photo: Juniper hairstreak on Golden ragwort, April 2017
Devin Floyd wrote this post—unintentionally. It came, with photo, in an email following a visit to locate trails correctly on the garden map he’s drawing:
“The butterflies of the season are on full exhibit at Quarry Gardens. At the moss phlox and golden ragwort are juniper hairstreak, gray hairstreak, striped hairstreak, and likely a whole host of elfin species. Juvenal’s duskywing is the dominant butterfly puddling in the quarry loop gravel drive, and gemmed satyr dances in the Giant’s Stairs gallery among the bluebells and spring beauty flowers.
“Other species noted in passing were sleepy orange, eastern tiger swallowtail, American lady, spring azure, eastern tailed-blue, and questionmark. Eastern comma and zebra swallowtail are undoubtedly lurking. Alighting on boulders is the blue corporal dragonfly. Singing from the trees was the worm-eating warbler and a bald eagle screamed as it soared north above the stream corridor.
“I do love this time of year. The quarries have so much to offer, even when its galleries are just beginning to wake up. I especially like the dried Andropogon and Panicum stalks in the wind, and the blackened seed heads of flowering plants.”
Below is an American lady on mountain mint, photographed late last year.
Zebra swallowtail, June 2016.
We progress rapidly towards opening day. Our “soft opening” will consist of hosting all the workmen and participants who structured the Quarry Gardens over the past three years, along with their families, at an event to be held on the afternoon of Sunday, April 23 (assuming the re-printed, then lost-in-FedEx invitations arrive soon enough). Regular tours will commence thereafter–see the schedule on the website and sign up for a particular (available) day and time. Finishing touches include construction of the keypad-controlled lift-bar gate, completion of the porch wings, installation of the Garden Shop cabinetry, touching up all of the paving, and sundry painting tasks and furnishing. The railroad display is coming along, but will not be ready in time for the opening, and a lot of the exhibits are yet to be installed, but it is getting close. Perhaps of greatest interest over the next two weeks will be to see how our 40,000-or-so new plantings have survived the winter.