Good News to report: All over South Texas, it is a Banner Year for fruit trees! Everyone who grows fruit trees are as excited as I am to see the trees bursting with beautiful blossoms. A big thank you to the "weathermen" for bringing the cold chill down south. You see fruit trees in the south need a certain number of "chill hours" to set fruit. Personally, I have never seen such full fruit trees ever as winters are not typically as cold as this past season. Below is info from Wikipedia to explain the "chill hour requirement". Also, sharing a Black Beauty surprise: The first Swallowtail Butterfly of 2014. For those of You now considering planting fruit trees, you must check for what is best for your area. If you can grow a Red Baron Peach tree, I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
Chilling units or chilling hours
From the Google Search Index:
The Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
(1st of 2014)
(Old World Swallowtail)
|Subfamilies and genera|
There are 31 genera and about 600 species:
Egg. "Dome-shaped, smooth or obscurely facetted, not as high as wide, somewhat leathery, opaque." (Doherty.)Larva. Stout, smooth or with a series of fleshy tubercles on the dorsum : sometimes with a raised fleshy protuberance (the so-called hood or crest) on the fourth segment. The second segment has a transverse opening, out of which the larva protrudes at will and an erect, forked, glandular fleshy organ that emits a strong, penetrating, and somewhat pleasant odor.Pupa. Variable in form but most often curved backwards. It is angulate, with the head truncate or rounded and the back of abdomen is smooth or tuberculate. It is attached by the tail, normally in a perpendicular position, and further secured by a silken girth round the middle. In Parnassius, the pupa is placed in a loose silken web between leaves.Imago. Wings extraordinarily variable in shape. Hind wing very frequently has a tail, which may be slender, or broad and spatulate, but is always an extension of the termen at vein 4. In one genus, Armandia, the termen of the hind wing is prolonged into tails at the apices of veins 2 and 3 as well as at vein 4. Pore wing (except in the aberrant genera Parnassius and Hypermnestra) with all 12 veins present and in addition a short internal vein, vein 1 a, that invariably terminates on the dorsal margin.