I have been polishing up some of the paintings in my Watercolor Journal. This Hackberry Emperor is one of several butterfly species I had the pleasure of having as a guest in my garden. This fellow landed on the deck furniture and just serenely hung out for the evening. It was a delight and inspiration. As I painted the butterfly I took to identifying the trees in my yard and getting to know them better. It was a wonderful adventure! I learned that many used the Hackberry tree as a larval plant.
It took a short time to identify the two large trees straddling the driveway entrance as Hackberry Trees. Question Mark Butterflies, American Longsnout, Hackberry Emperor, and other Nettle loving butterflies use this tree. I have found that Question Mark Butterflies like to find a Hackberry Sappling between 2 and 4 feet and lay one egg on each about 4 leaves down from the top. I will eventually get to painting those guys.
I enjoyed tasting the fruit of the tree, which native Americans also used as a food source. The flavor, to me, was between that of a date and a sour cherry. The fruits do not produce much flesh to cover the seed, but it is a nice flavor. Below are images from the work in progress and my notes.