Monday, May 9, 2011

Rosie And Maxine Have A Busy Day In Danville, Virginia.

Saturday morning, Maxine and I headed to Danville's warehouse district to visit the Farmer's Market. They have a little bit of everything here.
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I love the old brick buildings. This is next to the Danville train station which I've blogged about before. For more history, see my blog post here. Maxine and I decided to check out the Butterfly Station and Garden at the Danville Science Center. The Danville Science Center's Butterfly Station and Garden is a community-based project showcasing plant, insect, and animal populations whose habitats are being lost to non-selective development, urbanization, and the use of pesticides.
Butterfly Facts:
  • Over 160 species of butterflies are found in Virginia.
  • Butterflies can see more colors and light wavelengths than any other animal. How do they know this?
  • Adult butterflies range in size from the half-inch Pygmy Blue found in Northern California to the giant female Queen Alexandria of New Guinea, which measures about ten inches from wing tip to wing tip.
  • Most adult butterflies live from 20-40 days. However, some are believed to live only three or four days, while others, such as migrating monarchs, may live for almost six months.
  • Butterflies have foot pads that act as taste buds. When they sense sugar solution or nectar in a flower, the proboscis automatically uncoils, allowing the butterfly to sip the nectar.
  • Long tails and false eyespots are defenses to fool and scare away a butterfly's predators.
  • During its growth from egg to caterpillar, the insect's body surface area may increase 3000 times.
  • Although very similar in appearance, butterflies and moths fold their wings differently. Butterflies close their wings high above their backs while moths fold their wings down on top of their backs.
  • Moth antennae are feathered and very sensitive to chemicals and mating pheromones in the air.
To attract butterflies and moths to your garden, simply provide the plants and conditions they need for each stage of their life cycle: a place for females to lay eggs, food for the caterpillars (larvae), and a place to form a chrysalis and nectar sources for adults. Red, yellow, orange, pink, or purple blossoms attract adult butterflies and moths searching for nectar. Flowers with flat tops of short flower tubes allow butterflies easy access to the nectar. Grow nectar-producing plants in open, sunny areas, since adults rarely feed on plants in shade. Never use pesticides - the poisons that kill pest insects are also toxic to butterflies. Don't be too diligent about cleaning up brush and twigs. Loosely piled yard trimmings make perfect shelters for chrysalises. Areas of moist soil provide dietary mineral butterflies need for egg laying. Butterflies and moths lay eggs on plants that later become the first food for the caterpillars. It is important to choose the correct plants for the insects you wish to attract. Some caterpillars are finicky and will eat only one or two types of plant.
In this area of Virginia and North Carolina, the following plants are suggested: Nectar Plants: Bee balm, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, cosmos, Joe Pye weed, lantana, Mexican sunflower, pineapple sage, salvia, verbena, vitex, wild petunia, zinnia. Caterpillar Host Plants: Birch (all species), clover (both red and white), dill, fennel, fruit trees, hackberry, lilac, milkweed, oak (all species), pawpaw, Queen Anne's lace, sassafras, spicebush, and willow (all species).
Life Cycle of Butterflies: 1. Egg (2-10 days) 2. Caterpillar (2-3 weeks) 3. Chrysalis (2-8 weeks) 4. butterfly/moth (3 - 40 days)
Caterpillar Host Plants Attract this Butterfly Species
Alfalfa, clover .................................Suphurs, cabbage whites, spring azure Aspen, cottenwood .........................Admiral, viceroy, red spotted purple mourning cloak, tiger swallowtail Asters ..............................................Pearl Crescent, checkerspot Cherry or citrus ...............................Red spotted purple, tiger swallowtail, spring azure Elm ..................................................Comma, question mark, mourning cloak Hackberry tree ................................Hackberry, comma, question mark, tawny emperor, snouts Hops ................................................Comma, question mark, red admiral Milkweed, butterfly weed ................ Monarch, queen Nettles .............................................Red admiral, comma, question mark, Milbert's tortoiseshell Parsley, fennel .................................Black swallowtail, tiger swallowtail Passion vine .....................................Fritillaries, zebra longwing, Julia Pawpaw ............................................Zebra swallowtail Plaintain ...........................................Common buckeye, Baltimore Queen Anne's Lace ...........................swallowtails Spicebush, Sassafras ........................ Spicebush swallowtail, black swallowtail Turtlehead, snapdragon .................... Baltimore, common buckeye Violet .................................................Fritillaries Willow ................................................Admiral, viceroy, mourning cloak, swallowtails
Here are some of the residents.
If you are very, very patient, you may be rewarded with the rare and elusive ...
... Plumber's Crack!
Next, Maxine drove through the warehouse district so I could take some pics.
Downtown Danville was closed off for a street celebration.
video video video Next, we went up to the Sutherlin Mansion, now the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, where they had an outdoor arts and crafts display. video
I love the architecture.
Lions guarding the entrance.
Lions are big here.
Time for lunch!
Maxine suggested O'Kelly's on Piney Forest Road. I heartily recommend this take-out place. O'Kelly's is owned by Robert Kelly, who's been baking and delivering luscious pastries since 1984. In 1994, Kelly set up a baking building in his backyard in Dry Fork and delivered pastries throughout the area - from Danville to Martinsville, Chatham, Gretna, Rocky Mount, Rustburg, and Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia and down to Eden, Reidsville, and Greensboro in North Carolina. After his son, Gerald, graduated from Averett University, the two opened this sandwich and pastry shop. O'Kelly's offers a bag lunch which includes your choice of sandwich, danish, and drink for $5.00. Sandwiches include Pork BBQ roasted in hickory smoke with a brown sugar BBQ sauce, chicken salad with baked chicken breast seasoned with a ranch sauce and sandwiched in a Vermont cheddar roll, pimiento cheese made with seriously sharp white Vermont cheddar, pepperoni pizza bun with pepperoni, cheese, and a marinara sauce, dusted with garlic and Parmesan, a ham and cheese pinwheel with baked ham and sharp cheddar cheese, a ham and Swiss with deli ham and melted Swiss cheese, a turkey and Swiss with oven roasted turkey breast and melted Swiss, and an Irish pork roast with pork seasoned with a blend of onion and herbs on an Irish garlic yeast roll. Their selection of breads include yeast rolls, wheat yeast rolls, Vermont cheddar yeast rolls, and Irish garlic yeast rolls. The danishes offered are apple pie, butter pecan, cherry walnut, cinnamon, cranberry walnut, lemon crunch, red velvet, raspberry walnut, peanut butter crunch, and walnut raisin.
Maxine had the Ham and Swiss.
I had the baked chicken in a Vermont cheddar roll.
My chicken was wonderfully tender and juicy.
I had a few bites of Maxine's sandwich and it, too, was delicious.
Maxine got the cherry walnut danish.
And I had the lemon danish. This was a wonderful meal - all for $5.00. After lunch, I asked Maxine to drive down Main Street again so I could get some videos of the homes here. This area is known as Millionaire's Row. I've blogged about it before. See here. video video video video video

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