Phenology, the study of timing the return of migrating birds or emergence of insects with a particular plant bloom has generated a great deal of interest in Ohio. Master Gardeners throughout the state are monitoring phenology gardens, gardens planted with the exact same species of plants, and the findings are reported on the Buckeye Yard and Garden Line.
This is another tool for Integrated Pest Management (IMP), a system of monitoring insects, deciding the tolerances and only treating (generally, with chemicals) when necessary. It is a big improvement of the constant and continuous spray cycles used in the past, but I prefer a far more organic approach. Let the House Wrens deal with my garden pests. I don't spray or dust- ever. As a butterfly enthusiast, the last thing I want to do is poison the very creatures that bring me the most enjoyment.
So, the last five years of observation has taught me, when this hot pink azalea on my property blooms, the Giant Swallowtails will emerge. Sunday was the big day! It is sure hard for a Weedpicker to get any yard work done when the Giant Swallowtails are flying around this sub-urban oasis. Someone has to photo-document them... :) Lucky me!