Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tiger Swallowtail on Climbing Hydrangea

Tiger Swallowtail on Climbing Hydrangea blossom in peak bloom at my Connecticut home on June 4, 2011. The fragrance of the flower is heady and strong for a few days during peak bloom time. On humid days the fragrance fills the air and hangs in it.

 Vine at the base of my White Oak tree. These climb high into the tree and filled the view from the master bedroom. I loved how looking out my second story bedroom window revealed lots of blossoms, not your typical scene!

Fast moving butterfly, with flapping wings, a challenge to catch with the camera.

This butterfly challenged me. I chased it all over the patch trying to capture its image before it finally escaped me by flying forty feet to the other vine which has climbed up over forty feet into a tall white oak tree. It kept going higher and higher to escape me, which it finally did.

Butterfly flew higher than me!

Looking up into the White Oak. Sunlight filters through leaves and blossoms.

When we met the former homeowners they told us about the climbing hydrangea, how they'd purchased it and babied it for years until it finally took hold and took off. They said they had high hopes for it but it is so hard to get started once transplanted. I was reading about the vine in June and it said that it spends a few years doing only underground growth, then a few years doing slow vine growth then it takes off. "It sleeps, it creeps, then it leaps." I wish they could see how the plants they purchased did finally take off.

I already miss these lovely ornamental plants which live on our property in Connecticut. They put on quite a show!

I also found out that pruned branches' bark can be used to make paper and that parts of the plant are edible. (If you are interested in that please research it on your own, as those details I am not including in this blog post.)

Harvested blossoms

Blossoms infusing in olive oil (for 48 hours).

With the finished infused olive oil I made a skin creme with no extra added scent. The natural scent of the blossoms had infused into the oil. This fragrance was strong enough to clearly detect it while using the creme. When I use the creme while in Texas it brings back memories of June in Connecticut.

I miss Connecticut and our life there. I hope that soon I will come to know the plants and this place we are living in now, and that we make a good life here, so I can learn to appreciate the places and people of Texas too.


K said...

One good wildflower season, Christine, and you'll be hooked. Texas can be breathtaking in the spring.

First we need a wet winter though.

K said...


scenes like this are everywhere. This picture could have been taken down the street from me. It is like living in a Monet paining for a month.