I picked it today, the stray cantaloupe next to our compost bins. Thanks to those who gave us suggestions on how to tell when it was ripe. Yesterday I noted it looked orange and ripe, got down and smelled it, sweet and just right. Pulled on the stem it did not come loose. Tonight I smelled it again and went for it. Good thing as the underside was splitting apart and bugs were in the tiny cracks. So I cut it where it was splitting open and got rid of the split rind and cut out some very sweet cantaloupe to eat fresh from the garden....
An update about the Durham Butterfly count. It rained most of the night Saturday, then cleared just in time for 15 diehards to meet and form groups to go out counting butterflies, gray skies and all. Our organizer Jeff went to Duke Gardens, got poured on as soon as they arrived, saw one Painted lady from a pavilion where they sat for 3 hours in waiting for it to dry up.
Mean while Meg, Owen and I drove over to the Flat River Impoundment. One parks their car and walks in on a gravel road leaving the car behind. We managed to walk for 37 minutes before we were rained on. We walked back in the rain wearing rain coats and umbrellas. Tallied up 15 species of butterflies despite the weather in an hour. Four of those were seen in the rain walking back to the car.
We drove to our place and hung out on the porch until the rain
slowed. Jeff called and cancelled the count. Owen and I decided
what the heck we'd get back out there. Ended up at Quail Roost and
found three old guys (Tom, Gene and Carl) in rain coats counting
butterflies. So we weren't the only crazy old guys counting
butterflies and we had umbrellas! Tom and crew had complied a
pretty good list.
So Owen and I poked around Quail Roost and added a few butterflies
to our list.
So here is our rainy day list of 24 species from both the Flat River Impoundment
and Quail Roost
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 10
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Clouded Sulphur 1 outer wing margins clearly behind the dot, tough ID in our parts
Orange Sulphur 8
Sleepy Orange 1 (found in the rain)
Eastern-tailed Blue 120 everywhere
Variegated Fritillary 10
Silvery Checkerspot 2
Pearl Crescent 18
Red Admiral 2
Common Buckeye 25
Red-spotted Purple 2
Viceroy 1 (found in the rain)
Carolina Satyr 18
Clouded Skipper 60
Least Skipper 7
Fiery Skipper 5
Crossline Skipper 2
Zabulon Skipper 4
Dun Skipper 5
Ocola Skipper 2
And 45 Black Swallowtail cats in our garden and 25 more cats at
Meg's school(transferred from our garden days ago) + one
One of the highlights of checking out Quail Roost was the Devil's-walkingstick (Aralia spinosa) growing wild along a fence line. When the rain would slow the butterflies would be on it, saw 5 Eastern Tiger Swallowtails enjoying it. These have huge flowers and they are not common here at all, I now know of two places it grows in Durham.
patch, it is as always around 15 foot tall (5 meters). See Will Cook's page about Devil's-walkingstick