Western Pygmy-Blue Butterfly

 Tiny beastie on a Shasta daisy that decided to bloom in November.  One of the world's smallest butterflies, Brephidium exilis oddly has increased in numbers in Southern California due to non-native weeds.  At least something benefits from weeds!   To give you an idea of how tiny the beastie, the center of that daisy is about 3/4" of an inch (~2 cm). 
 I didn't garden on Saturday because some demolition guys were making a whole lot of noise next door.  

Busting all that masonry was noisy.  They are redoing their pool, apparently.  As it happened the neighbors across the street were also making a lot of noise by having their trees trimmed, so I stayed indoors.  

Brilliant sunshine and quiet on Sunday.  I was out there moving/removing plants.  

One of the 'Tasman Blue' Pittosporums died.  The others are okay, struggling with dryness a bit.  I might try another Callistemnon 'Slim' there.  It's becoming my go-to for vertical shrubbery.  

The drainage may be a little too sharp, the summers a little too hot, and the water a little too stingy, to make Pittosporum tenuifolia sections truly happy. 
 Pulled out a nice Lantana on a whim.  I just cut it back hard at first, but then decided to try Leucodendron 'Mostly Silver' there.  There have been some new dwarf Lantanas available the past few years--mostly developed for regions that treat them as annuals for pots;  here they are perennials and their dwarf habit is idea, because they grow as shrubs rather than as trailing plants.  They don't stay "dwarf" here, but they can be cut back to grow afresh when warmer nights return next spring.
There's 'Mostly Silver' and a daylily from elsewhere that was in too-dry of a spot.  Ballotas cut back--they are sprouting new growth from the base.  
 A trio of spare Kalanchoes to replace the Agastache 'Blue Fortune' which simply did not like my garden beyond its first splendid year.
Moved a pretty good rose with a stupid name ('Petal Pushers') to a better spot--this area gets water.  The rose survived but did not thrive in a lot of shade with little irrigation.  It may do better here. 
 Looking for a rock to provide a bird-perch in the urn fountain.  This one may be a little small.  I'll watch for activity.
The jack hammers pounding next door on Saturday were scaring the koi (they feel vibrations) but they were cheerful again on a quiet Sunday and feeling great (aka hungry) now the pH is once again at healthy levels. 
 Green green Algae is regrowing on the pond side and bottom.  The low pH killed most of it off.  The water clarity is great right now.
The noise will be back today.  More jackhammering and all those chunks of concrete must be loaded into a truck and hauled away.  90F (32C) is predicted for Wednesday and Thursday.  

This is California living. 


  1. And here I thought I was doing a lot moving plants around...That butterfly is a wonderful camera catch. I've not seen it here. Is it smaller than the Marine Blue? Sorry to hear you (and the koi) are being bothered by neighbor noise - the tree trimmer noise is almost constant here this time of year but no jackhammers!

    1. Yes, smaller than Marine Blue. I thought it was a dried 'Rozanne' flower petal at first. Tree trimmer noise constant here also. The jackhammering looks like it will be done today--that's the worst part. The pool company dropped a note at the door saying they'll be working on the pool remodel for "two months" Some of that will be pretty quiet. The sound of concrete drying is quite tolerable.

      Moving plants--I'm just getting started!

  2. Yes, at its best!

    Wonderful shots of the pygmy blue. I can only find along the coast (like Bolsa Chica) near its foodplant, saltbush.

    1. They like tumbleweed, too, I read. There used to be a lot of tumbleweed around but the wilds of Irvine are quickly being built out, so the tumblers are vanishing.

  3. Who knew a butterfly could be so tiny? When I first looked at your top photo, I mentally reduced the pygmy blue to the size of the smallest butterflies here, and my next thought was "whoah, those are some huge daisies!" and
    Wonderful shot.

    1. Who knew a butterfly could be so tiny? I sure didn't!


  4. The rock in the birdbath looks unnervingly like the head of a snapping turtle, at least from the angle in that photo. Will be interested to see if the birds accept it.

    1. Huh. Interesting. I am still looking for something a little larger...

  5. Touch wood, our neighbours are easy on the demolition work, but I do hear chainsaws whining as they tidy away yet another tree.

    1. Lots of chainsaw whining here with all our drought-killed trees. The song of Autumn, unfortunately!


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