No, it isn't an olive tree, and provides no people food, but they call
it a Black Olive Tree anyway; go figure.
Every time they fly through,
Sapsuckers pause to peck my black olive trees. It was too dark
to photograph the woodpecker at the trunk under the thick crown of
leaves, so when I saw it fly off to visit a palm tree next door, I ran
after it for a more sunny photo.
Those little leaves in front of the tree are
, a butterfly host plant
happens to be growing beside my Black Olive Tree.
I didn't have to run after this swarm of bugs. It was on the trunk of
the tree near the bottom in plain sight. They're called
bark lice, or tree lice
they aren't really lice.
It's fun to poke at them; they scamper
like a school of fish in 2D, avoiding me but still sticking together.
One of the redeeming qualities of Black Olive Trees is that they attract
interesting creatures, like the
, and this
feasting on the seeds.
Humm... having a redeeming quality does imply that it has not-so-good qualities.
Black Olive is a
horribly messy tree. You can sweep the porch, but one solid breeze leaves it
looking like this only minutes later.
It also has these strange looking bugs
presumably larvae, but of what I've no idea yet.
My Black Olive Tree drops leaves, and these spent flower clusters, and
it never seems to stop. When the mess gets wet in the rain or morning
dew, it spreads out in a brown tea-like stain.
Black Olive seems to have been a favorite when my development when in;
there are a lot of them where I live. I lost other trees in the
hurricanes, but none of the Black Olive trees fell. They did lose
branches, and some were tangled high in the crown and darned hard to get
This May I've noticed a lot of caterpillars dangling from my Black Olive Tree;
it has moths
Their little silken threads shimmer in the sunlight.
The caterpillars are called bucida caterpillars or bungee caterpillars.
I was watching a whole bunch of the little green caterpillars rappel
toward the ground and enjoying the antics of a hungry
that was snatching them up from the sidewalk when a leaping passer-by
caught my attention. They didn't notice the bungee caterpillars
until they walked into the numerous nearly invisible strands. I
think I'll coin the phrase 'cobweb dance' to describe the resultant
hopping and arm waving.