Monday, April 21, 2014

Another good reason to keep nettles around

This isn't the best photo in the world, but it should be good enough for you butterfly watchers to play "name that species:"

Can you tell me what it is?









If you guessed a "Red Admiral," then you're right.

Red Admirals are a butterfly found far beyond just North America. I've seen them before but never really took the time to find out what their babies eat... so I rectified that oversight a couple of days ago by reading up on the species.

Surprisingly, it turns out that Red Admiral caterpillars eat nettles.

Because nettles are a good compost addition as well as being edible, I let them grow here and there in my yard as I've written previously.

Now we have one more reason to let them live.

You never know what damage you might be doing when you start chopping down all the "weeds."

Don't be quick to race for the RoundUp or the lawnmower... the bees, the ladybugs, and the butterflies will all thank you for letting the lawn get shaggy. Sometimes even the biggest "pest" plants are blessings in disguise.

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