Pipevine swallowtail butterfly on Lanai Bright Pink verbena
I hope you all had as lovely of a weekend as I did. The weather here was great - dry air (can't say enough good things when it comes to lack of humidity around here!), moderate temperatures during the day, and cool evenings. Wow, an early taste of fall for us. So naturally, it brought me outside and into the garden. I was amazed at all the critter activity - birds, bees, other pollinators, one or two nasty insects, lizards - they were dazzling me with their comings and goings. So I thought I'd share a slice of my backyard life with you.
Male pipevine swallowtail
The butterflies are starting to make their appearance. Lucky for me I purchased a detailed butterfly guide recently. I learned to tell the difference between the male and female pipevine swallowtails and I definitely had a male one hanging around. They're difficult to photograph because they flutter their wings constantly.
Gray hairstreak on 'Autumn Joy' sedum
My first ID of a gray hairstreak. I planted amsonia for these little guys; it's one of their larval foods. But they didn't eat any this year (and the amsonia didn't bloom again this year, but that's another story).
Sulphur butterfly on flame acanthus
I'm pretty sure this is a cloudless sulphur. The cloudless and clouded are a little difficult to tell apart. I also saw two common buckeye butterflies but didn't have camera in hand at the time. It's the first time I've seen them in my garden.
Various pollinators on 'Autumn Joy' sedum
The 'Autumn Joy' sedum was covered in all sizes of bumblebees, thread-waisted wasps, butterflies and other little pollinating insects. I couldn't believe all the activity on it plus the diversity.
These bees, with their darker wings, look a lot bigger than other bumblebees. So are they really bumblebees? I have no idea.
Honeybee on basil flowers
Though I always see many bumblebees in my garden, I rarely see honeybees lately. Mostly I see them hanging around the bird bath when it's desperately hot and dry. So it's always a good thing to see them doing their pollination thing.
Anole on garlic chives
The garlic chives, just now coming into bloom, are also a hot spot for pollinators. And this anole! Perhaps he wanted to make a meal of one of them.
Duba and a bumble on garlic chives
Our cats are indoor cats but when the weather's nice, we sometimes take them for a little walk in our arms around the garden. Duba, especially, loves it. I think he'd be a very happy outdoor cat if we'd let him.
Ugh, mating Eastern lubber grasshoppers
The bane of my existence this year. My Buddhist friends probably think I'm barbaric for all the killing of them that I do. If I get to it, I'm going to post about which hostas survived these grasshoppers and which were not so lucky.
White breasted nuthatch
I love my little nuthatches. I know I have two of them for sure. I've come to recognize their funny little calls. This one is climbing down for a snack at the birdfeeder.
Downy woodpecker, ringed turtle-dove, cardinal, Carolina wren
The ringed turtle-dove is the big pig at the bird feeders these days. I wish I could have a separate feeder for them just so they wouldn't bogart the food from the rest of the birds. But if I tried that, I'm afraid it would just bring more of them.
The squirrels benefit from all the seed the turtle-doves spill!
Hummingbird on flame acanthus
The hummers, most likely all ruby-throated hummers, are starting to fight like crazy over the feeder. Fortunately there are other flowers available to them. I'm so glad I captured this particular bird because I kept thinking I saw a little white cap on its head. Sure enough, you can see it in this photo. I wish I knew why it had it!
Moonflower vine just opening
And now to break from all the garden critters, I thought I'd close with a few shots of a moonflower opening.
Fully opened. Don't you love the still-crinkled petals?
Moonflower the next morning
I hope everyone has a great September and if you're going to the Garden Writers Association Symposium in Dallas this coming weekend, I hope I get a chance to see or meet you. I'll be at the tweet-up on Friday so look for me there!
This post was written by Jean McWeeney for my blog Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. Copyright 2010. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.