In A Vase On Monday – Summerfest

In A Vase On Monday – Summerfest

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Summerfest

In A Vase On Monday – Summerfest

Until last year I had no shortage of zinnias in the garden. Five minutes planting a couple packets of seeds would guarantee plenty of color from late June to October. Last year rabbits ate 3 sowings and this year I learned my lesson–they only managed to eat two sowings. Instead of planting the third packet in ground I planted them in trays until they grew large enough to transplant and most of these survived. They have been very slow to open but at last there are a few along with a handful of cosmos planted at the same time.

Zinnia elegans ‘Purple Prince’

Zinnia, Cactus Flowered Mix

Cosmos ‘Bright Lights’ Mixed Colors

A few dahlias are beginning to appear now too, mostly ones that overwintered.

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

In A Vase On Monday – Summerfest

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’ which featured prominently in last week’s vase is new this year.

Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Cosmos ‘Bright Lights’ Mixed Colors
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Hydrangea macrophylla
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Salvia yangii (Russian Sage), previously known as Perovskia atriplicifolia
Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy)
Tulbaghia (society garlic)
Zinnia elegans ‘Purple Prince’
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Container
Ceramic Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Summerfest

 

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Butterfly Journal For 7/17/2021- 7/22/2021

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

I recorded 34 butterflies during this reporting period. The annual total is 186.

Butterfly Sightings 7/17/2021- 7/22/2021

07/18/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/18/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/18/2021 Skipper sp. 10
07/18/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/18/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/20/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/20/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
07/20/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/20/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/20/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
07/20/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/21/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
07/21/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/21/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
07/21/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/22/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1

The most thrilling butterfly moment this week: seeing a Zebra Swallowtail two days apart.  (There had also been one in early June.)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 20, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Plenty of Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae), especially Fiery and Ocola, go uncounted in my unofficial survey. These insects flit from flower to flower, bump into each, dart away suddenly and land near or far, making it hard to get accurate counts. As I’m not confident of knowing these skippers by sight, it is a time-consuming effort to photograph and verify those that show up around the garden. So for them I am mostly selecting one or two to represent the group.

July 18, 2021 – Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

July 21, 2021 – Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) 1

This year Silver-spotted Skipper and Horace’s Duskywing are regularly seen, not in huge numbers but one or two nearly every day. Common Buckeye and American Lady also are more frequent this year.

July 21, 2021 – Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

July 21, 2021 – American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 21, 2021 – American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Tuesday I photographed my first Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) of the year. Previously I had seen only one in July 2014 and a second in August 2015.

July 20, 2021 – Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are always a welcome sight.

July 20, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is attractive to butterflies, bees and many other insects.

July 18, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

July 20, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Exploring for butterflies this summer in my garden has been a fun project.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Tapestry

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Tapestry

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Today I’m sharing a not quite finished arrangement showcasing the first dahlia flowers of summer. Mostly short-stemmed, the flowers required a shallow container. I found a glass pedestal dish with a flat bowl that comfortably held a large floral pin and set about to assemble a tapestry. The last of the calla lilies and several small buddleja panicles filled in an area that would have held additional dahlias had there been more ready to pick.

We had a wonderful weekend shared with family, our first get-together after the dreary pandemic months.  Two of my sweet sisters were in town visiting for the weekend to celebrate my birthday and having just made the long trek moving from Los Angeles to the North Carolina mountain town of Asheville, my precious daughter and son-in-law came in for the day on Saturday! We are so grateful for this happy reunion.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlia Tapestry

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Zantedeschia rehmannii violacea ‘Odessa’ (Odessa Calla Lily)
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’
Container
Glass Pedestal Dish

Hope you have a great week. As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Butterfly Journal For 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021

07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Sometimes I spot a butterfly from a window, other times I actively choose a time to search along the borders. The most fun is when I’m working in the garden and one unexpectedly floats by, sending me chasing it for a brief time to capture the moment. Such a serendipitous encounter occurred yesterday. From the corner of my eye I caught painterly colors drifting by. They belonged to a Black Swallowtail. It entered the garden at the same time as an Eastern TIger Swallowtail. Both headed for the lantana which was already serving a good number of customers.

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

The Eastern Tiger moved on quickly, startled I think by a bee or skipper trying to share the flowers. Within two minutes the Black Swallowtail had also departed, leaving me conscious of the fleetingness of the moment.

07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Butterfly Sightings 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021

07/13/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2 Common lantana; Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/13/2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) 2 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3
07/13/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1
07/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 3 (1 is dark morph)
07/14/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/14/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/14/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
07/14/2021 Skipper sp. 10 on lantana and butterfly bush
07/14/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/14/2021 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) 1
07/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
07/15/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1 Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)
07/15/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1
07/15/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/15/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
07/16/2021 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae 1
07/16/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/16/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/16/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 2
07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 2 (1 is dark morph)
07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes 1
07/16/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2

Here are a few glimpses of the butterflies seen from 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021. In addition to the one mentioned above, there have been a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails with a couple of sighting of a dark morph, one on July 14 and yesterday, July 16. I have no way to know if it’s the same individual, but the more recent one is decidedly aged.

07/13/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

07/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) -Dark morph

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) -Dark morph

07/13/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

07/13/2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

07/13/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

07/14/2021 Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

07/14/2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

07/14/2021 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

There are other insects around of course. Now that Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is open in several parts of the garden, the bees gather eagerly.

07/14/2021 Bees on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Dragonflies have been prolific this year and this week I noticed a damselfly as well.

07/13/2021 Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

07/15/2021 Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

07/14/2021 Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)

Hope your gardens are filled with wondrous sights that fill you with awe.

Butterfly Journal For 7/2/2021- 7/12/2021

July 11, 2021 -Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

The number of butterfly sightings around pbmGarden has increased recently, perhaps simply because I am actively searching for them 2-3 times most days. Since my last report I have recorded 33 individuals from 10 species. The species are all normal for this region at this time of year.

07/03/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1
07/03/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2 Common lantana; echinacea
07/04/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1 Echinacea
07/04/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/05/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/05/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 Common lantana
07/06/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/06/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/06/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1 Echinacea
07/07/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2 females (thanks to H. LeGrand for ID – 1 nectaring on common lantana; 1 on monarda
07/07/2021 ?Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 on peony leaves
07/09/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/09/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1 Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
07/09/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 2 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); Common lantana
07/09/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/10/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/10/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/10/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3 1 on Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); 2 on Common lantana
07/11/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2 1 on Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); 1 on Common lantana
07/11/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 2 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); Common lantana
07/11/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Common lantana
07/11/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/11/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/12/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Common lantana
07/12/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1 Common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
07/12/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1 Common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

I am taking many photographs to help with identifications. Here are some representative butterflies seen during this period.

July 3, 2021 -Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Star’

July 3, 2021 -Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

July 6, 2021 -Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

July 6, 2021 -Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

July 6, 2021 -Ovipositing Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

There have been 9 Horace’s during this period. Below is a fresh female and the following two images are a more worn female.

July 7, 2021 -Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) -Female

July 7, 2021 -Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) -Female. On Monarda (Bee Balm)

Same individual as above.

July 7, 2021 -Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) -Female. On Monarda (Bee Balm)

Two views of same American Lady…

July 9, 2021 -American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 9, 2021 -American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Skippers are difficult for me to identify. I have not noticed Sachems before this year. Either I haven’t seen them, I ignored them or possibly I mistook them for Fiery Skippers.

July 9, 2021 -Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

July 10, 2021 -Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) -1

July 10, 2021 -Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Silver-spotted skippers are easy to identify and are frequent visitors to my garden.

July 11, 2021 -Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Common lantana is in full bloom now, starting to attract many insects including this Ocola skipper.

July 11, 2021 -Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

July 11, 2021 -Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

July 11, 2021 -Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

The “silver” spot is not visible in this picture. I took this photo this morning and appreciate the butterfly choosing a color-coordinated background.

July 12, 2021 -Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

July 12 2021 -Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

For 2021 I have observed 100 individuals from 19 species.
There are 177 species known for the state of North Carolina and 105 in my particular county of Chatham.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

The July flowers in today’s offering are the last of the gladioli, old-fashioned nostalgic flowers that remind me of my maternal grandmother.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

A drift of fading hydrangeas around the neck of the container anchor the sword-like spikes of silken-textured Gladiolus ‘Espresso’ and two other beauties bought without identification, one red, one white.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

A couple of anthurium used in a Monday vase four weeks ago still in good condition add a shift in color and form to the arrangement.

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

Materials
Flowers
Anthurium
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’
Gladiolus ‘Espresso’ and two no-ID gladioli
Hydrangea macrophylla
Foliage
Container
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”
6-inch clear Lomey dish
eco-friendly Oasis floral foam

In A Vase On Monday – Vintage Bouquet

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Summer Garden June-Early July 2021

Tropical Storm Elsa brought much needed rain into the garden today with for us none of the wind or worry such a storm can spawn. The sun just broke through. I spent part of the rainy afternoon sifting through some summer garden pictures searching for longer views of the plantings instead of the closeups I usually prefer. Applying effects from an app called Waterlogue softened the scenes into watercolor paintings. With filter names such as Soaked, Verdant, Natural, Eventide and Bold the images make the garden appear better groomed than actually it is, more dreamy.

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

June-Early July, 2021

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Today Shasta daisies fill a handmade pitcher decorated with color bands of white, green and blue.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

Happy summer days and daisies go together.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

Years ago I purchased Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Alaska’ and ‘Becky’ and based on the heights I believe this group to be ‘Alaska’. This is the shorter, 2-3 feet tall, and more vigorous of the two.

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

In A Vase On Monday – Daisy Days

Materials
Flowers
Hydrangea macrophylla
Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Alaska’ (Shasta daisy)
Foliage
Container
Stoneware pitcher. Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977.

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Fourth Of July – A Colonial Garden

It is not often I check statistics for my blog but when WordPress notifies about higher than normal traffic on pbmGarden I become curious. Yesterday the stats led me back in time to late June 2012 and a visit to Colonial Williamsburg with my husband. I guess someone had come across the post and looked through images of a beautiful vegetable garden we had seen there.

The last image in that article features an emblem embedded in the sidewalk at the Visitor’s Center. Viewed as one is about to enter the 18th century-based historic area one is invited to, “Walk Back In Time.”

As one returns to the visitor center from the historic area the message reads, “You Have Returned To The 21st Century.  Democracy. A Work in Progress.”

Wow, did that ever strike me. While in 2012 probably I just included the emblem because it seemed clever or quaint or a good way to end my post, now in 2021 with America’s democracy in tatters, it seems an opportune reminder America’s democracy has always been fragile and requires vigilance.

While naively I had always expected America would constantly refine, clarify and improve our democracy to embody equality and justice, the past five years in particular have shown how backwards and muddled that democracy could actually become. When in plain sight of the world GOP leaders try to walk back events of January 6, whitewashing away the violence and intent, and throngs of Americans still support them, I am frightened. When the Supreme Court winks at blatant attempts to undermine voting rights, I despair. When vaccines are available here and many Americans refuse to do their part, I struggle. When education is already under attack and the trustees of my alma mater, UNC Chapel Hill, politicize the recommendation of tenure  for a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and UNC graduate, I am sad. (This last item at least took a positive turn when under pressure tenure was eventually approved, though the underlying issues remain.)

As the nation celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence with fireworks in drought-stricken areas and beach vacations along coastlines under stress from climate change, the willful ignorance of many in this country leads me completely baffled.  I do not pretend to have answers but I recognize a day of Facebook feeds filled with flag pictures will not be enough to unite us.

So while I normally prefer to stick to gardening in this blog, seeing that phrase yesterday “Democracy. A Work in Progress” gave me pause and compelled me to speak. America is full of decency and I hope it will prevail. But when a rich person, a private donor from Tennessee, can effect the deployment of a National Guard unit from South Dakota to yet another state, the border of Texas, I wonder if decency and democracy itself can survive. Power, influence, money plus a strangely-aligned segment of American politicians and public willing to suspend truth and reality, these elements threaten this country’s core.

In Colonial America unrest led to independence and the founding of this country and our journey since has not been a straight line. I hope the current-day unrest will not pull us further backward, but instead will lead to progress and fairness. Meanwhile it’s okay to eat that hot dog and fly the flag 🇺🇸.  America is a large idea.

The 2012 post that got me thinking today reflects none of the controversy of the times, neither the eighteenth century nor now. See for yourself, the colonial garden in Williamsburg was sheer delight.

Cardoon in garden at Williamsburg. June 25, 2012

Butterfly Journal For 6/25 – 7/1/2021

July 1,, 2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

[Note to self: Last Butterfly Journal entry title was dated 6/18 – 6/24 but actually included 6/25. Repeating 6/25/2021 entries.]

With very dry conditions it has been another slow week for butterfly sightings in my garden. (For purpose of synching my record keeping the first four listed are actually repeats from last week.)

06/25/2001 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
06/25/2001 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
06/25/2001 Eastern Tailed-Blue – Cupido comyntas
06/25/2001 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius
06/28/2001 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
06/28/2001 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
06/28/2001 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius.
06/29/2001 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis
06/29/2001 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia
06/29/2001 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus
07/01/2001 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

I was happy to see a couple of E. Tiger Swallowtails this week. One male was particularly focused on eating which allowed me a few close-ups.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Male

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Male

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Male

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Male

A few of you have commented you also are not seeing many butterflies this summer. Let’s hope that changes. Today at last a nice rain is falling that is expected to last throughout the day. Perhaps the water will encourage more flowers. Common lantana and Rudbeckia are just coming into bloom and usually attract many kinds of pollinators.

June 28, 2021 Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

I couldn’t quite get close enough to this buckeye, tucked into shadows of a large stand of button chrysanthemums.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

In previous years there have been many skippers. This Fiery Skipper is among the few so far this summer.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Wishing for a balance in your weather this week.  Hope gardens and pollinators are bringing much joy.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

The colors of today’s feature flowers, gladiolus and cally lily, inspired today’s title.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

In an online catalog I saw my deep purple Odessa Cally lily described, “dark as a moonless night.” This is my first year growing Odessa and am enjoying its exotic shape, rich hue and long vase life. I cut a few new stems this week but am happily reusing some from last week also.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

The gladiolus is a no-ID whose petals are a mix of peachy pinks and golden glow. I had gathered glads in many colors for today’s vase but pared the presentation down eventually.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

The anthurium are also recycled from last week.

Anthurium

Chloris of The Blooming Garden recently asked if ever I had grown irises from seeds, but I have not. Her inquiry though reminded me a good number of bearded iris have developed large seedpods this year, so I decided to incorporate them into this Ikebana.

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

Materials
Flowers
Anthurium
Gladiolus
Zantedeschia rehmannii violacea ‘Odessa’ (Odessa Calla Lily)
Foliage
Tall Bearded Iris Seedpod
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches)

In A Vase On Monday – Sunrise and Dark Night

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Butterfly Journal For 6/18 – 6/24/2021 and Pollinator Week 2021

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) and Verbena bonariensis

It has not been the most satisfying week for butterfly sightings in my garden.

06/19/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus
06/21/2021 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
06/21/2021 Summer Azure – C. neglecta
06/23/2001 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
06/23/2001 Skipper
06/24/2001 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
[Note to self: Journal entry title was dated 6/18 – 6/24 but actually included 6/25]
06/25/2001 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
06/25/2001 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
06/25/2001 Eastern Tailed-Blue – Cupido comyntas
06/25/2001 ?Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius

I have been reading butterfly lists from Carolina Leps scientists and/or serious amateurs who trek out to known areas in the two Carolinas to conduct surveys.  As example yesterday one person reported many species including 270 Zebra Swallowtails in 3 counties over 2 days, which I think would be amazing to encounter.  I was ecstatic seeing this one on June 5!

June 5, 2021 Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

But I haven’t seen another Zebra.  Of the butterflies I saw since my last report, I was able to successfully photograph only the Cabbage White (Pieris rapae). Others were too quick and either I got very blurry images or none at all.

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

I did manage to photograph one (I think) Fiery Skipper this week.

6-19-2021  Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

There seem to be very few skippers this year. I read yesterday an abundance of pondhawks may be a contributing factor and I have regularly seen Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis).

June 12, 2021 Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

The garden does not not have much blooming that is appealing to butterflies currently. Verbena bonariensis has been key in providing nectar to lure them. Much is going to seed now though and attracting American Goldfinches (which are fun to see). I have cut back some of the verbena hoping it will flower again. Rabbits nibbled away several sowings of zinnias. I finally planted a few zinnia seeds in trays and successfully transplanted them without incident once they were of size, a step I find infuriating when for years I could toss a handful of seeds that would soon flower the rest of summer without a bit of care. Pouting doesn’t seem to help though and everyone seems to be having increased issues with rabbits.

In honor of Pollinator Week 2021 that runs Mon, Jun 21, 2021 – Sun, Jun 27, 2021 I took a quick tour yesterday afternoon to see what plants were appealing to bees at the moment. There were a mix of bees but some were camera-shy so it was difficult to catch a representative sample with the camera. I haven’t tried to ID them yet. Instead I decided to concentrate on showing the plants they are visiting.

Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ attracts lots of bees and sometimes hummingbirds.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

One blue salvia flower was caught in a calla lily leaf but the bee wanted to feed on it anyway. His weight knocked the bloom off and bee and flower tumbled into the pot holding the lily. I couldn’t tell if he were stunned or still feeding as I moved on.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Bee on flower of Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

A friend grew this dwarf Tiny Tim tomato from seed and shared a couple plants with us.

Tomato ‘Tiny Tim’

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)

Lamb’s Ears are ready to be cut back and thinned but I hesitate when the bees are enjoying it.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage)

Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore’ (Garden phlox)

Not bees, but observed yesterday, a Blue Dasher and a Snowberry Clearwing.

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) on Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis) on Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

The coneflowers are looking strong this year. Most are pink but ‘White Swan’ seemed to grab most of my attention.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

A butterfly joined the echinacea circle for the briefest time.

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Here’s a fresh look at Echinacea ‘White Swan’, having one of its best years.

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Hope you are enjoying plants and pollinators this weekend.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

Summer weather has been with us for a while and now the season itself is officially here. The intensely rich palette of today’s vase evokes a sultry, sensual mood befitting of summer.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

Gladiolas began flowering last week and I have been eyeing them to feature in a Monday vase.

The rich purple Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’ and satiny burgundy G. ‘Espresso’ were planted in 2019. Disappointingly few of them returned this year but the let-down was buffered by the appearance of a bright red glad from some prior year’s value bag.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

Calla lilies planted in ground have not performed well for me so this year I tried one in a terracotta pot. The nearly black Calla Lily ‘Odessa’ has been striking since opening a couple weeks ago and continues to send up new shoots.

Calla Lily ‘Odessa’

I think I did wince when I snipped four calla stems to use for today but the unique flower shape and complementary color were compelling factors.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

I arranged the flowers into a moderately shallow bowl filled with floral foam to help firmly support the heavy gladioli. Baptisia foliage around the bowl’s rim covers the foam.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

A mix of other shorter stemmed flowers were used to anchor the design at the base.

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

Materials
Flowers
Anthurium
Calla Lily ‘Odessa’
Chrysanthemum
Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
Gladiolus ‘Espresso’
Gladiolus ‘Purple Flora’
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm)
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’
Foliage
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ (Wormwood)
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Oak seedling (squirrels?)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Container
Black Matte Dish With Red Interior

In A Vase On Monday – Summertime

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Butterfly Journal For June 11-17, 2021

Since my last report the morning of June 11 when I noted so much trouble getting a photo of a Common Buckeye, I have seen three more. Two were quite cooperative—one looked very colorful and fresh; the other looked worse for the wear.

June 12, 2021 Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

June 15, 2021 Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

I have seen a couple of Fiery Skippers on verbena bonariensis. Once common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) come into flower I expect many more. These images are the same individual.

June 15, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

June 15, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

 

There was a glimpse of a fast moving Pipevine Swallowtail, but unlike last week I could not get a good images this time. This one is heavily cropped.

June 14, 2021 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Two updates: I had some ID help through a facebook group Carolina Leps with a couple of mystery insects in last week’s post. The Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho) was confirmed so that’s a first in the garden for me.

An insect I tentatively thought was Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) of June 8, 2021 is probably Horace’s Duskywing. I was told Zarucco couldn’t be ruled out but it is not commonly found in a garden setting.

I spotted two more Horace’s Duskywings this week.

June 11, 2021 Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

June 14, 2021 Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

In early June I glimpsed a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails but they would just fly over the garden and not stop.  Yesterday as I turned into my driveway I saw a beautiful male in the front yard nectaring on Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower).

June 16, 2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) on Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Another brief happenstance moment allowed me to record another first in the garden this week. I stood back trying to photograph this newly opened gladiolus when a butterfly landed in the distance.

June 14, 2021 Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

Knowing I was too far away I took a shot anyway. It was the only image I could get before the butterfly flew off again (see below).  Turns out the original picture above with the glad captured the butterfly too (below left-most red daylily). Though I hadn’t seen this one in person before I recognized it from others’ posts on the Carolina Leps page as Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis).

June 14, 2021 Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

Cropped view:

June 14, 2021 Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

Wordless Wednesday – June Flowers

Spiderwort and Nasturtium ‘Vesuvius’

Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage)

Hydrangea macrophylla

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Yellow dot at center right is Firefly!   Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Lily Asiatic ‘Royal Sunset’

Sky At Sunset June 14, 2021

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily) At Sunset June 14, 2021

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

Since April 1 I have been watching with anticipation as a large pot of Asian lilies developed greenery, then buds, then buds revealing color.

April 1, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

May 29, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

June 2, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Finally this past week the first flowers opened on June 7, quickly followed by many.

June 9, 2021 Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Having planned all spring to use the carmine lilies in a Monday vase when they appeared so quickly at mid-week I was unprepared to spend time arranging them. After trying out several vases without success, I opted for a cylindrical straight-sided glass container to hold the simple bouquet.

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Red In Glass Vase

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Materials
Flowers
Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)
Foliage
Container
Straight-sided glass cylinder

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

Butterfly Journal For June 5-11, 2021

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

This week the most prevalent butterfly in my garden was the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) of which I counted 5 on 4 different days throughout the week (06/06/2021 – 06/11/2021).

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Aside from the easily recognizable Silver-spotted Skipper, identifying most of the skippers is a challenge. iNaturalist suggests possibilities and I am tentatively calling this Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho), hoping for a confirmation. I saw a similar one the next day, but couldn’t get close enough for a photo. There usually are many skippers but I’ve never recorded this kind before, so am skeptical.  [UPDATE: 6-17-2021 ID from Carolina Leps confirms as Southern Broken-Dash, a first for me.]

Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho) ???

On June 8 and 11 I encountered the first Duskywings of the year. iNaturalist has not been much help so far in identifying these either. I tentatively listed one as Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) and the second as Horace’s Duskywing -(E. horatius), but my photographs are not very clear. I thinks it’s possible they could be the same individual. [UPDATE: 6-17-2021 ID from Carolina Leps suggest this is probably Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius).]

Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) ???  June 8, 2021 Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)  ???  June 11, 2021

On each of 3 days I encountered a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia). This little butterfly flits all over the garden and has been difficult to photograph. In the shortest amount of time it lands briefly on clover or grass, mulch, iris and penstemon leaves, not caring it could have a lovely portrait made if it would just be still! One finally slowed down a fraction to nectar on the butterfly bush.

Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia

Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia

While fretting around the butterfly bush trying to photograph the buckeye I enjoyed the happenstance of a cool moth sighting. I managed a few images of  a Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) (June 11, 2021).  Gotta love those wings!

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

My favorite butterfly visitor this week was on 6/9/2021, another Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor), the third in the garden this year. Its colors were so rich as if it were freshly inked!

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

There were flowers happening throughout the garden too which I will share another time.  Off to attend the Plant Symposium.  Enjoy your weekend!

 

Southeastern Plant Symposium

View from JC Raulston Arboretum, NCSU 40th Anniversary Symposium, 2016

Though I wish it could be in person I am looking forward to attending online the third annual Southeastern Plant Symposium on Saturday, June 12 and perhaps you would like to come along.  JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens are bringing together in their words “some of the best plants-people from around the globe for a full day in horticulture heaven.”

As part of the event a Rare Plant Auction is open (registrant or not) featuring over 300 rare, new, and unusual plants to bid on. I haven’t bid yet but there’s still time! You can sign up and/or preview the items.

Fergus Garrett, Great Dixter, is a big draw for the symposium, naturally, but I’m excited to hear the other speakers as well though.  Their backgrounds and topics are varied and I believe the symposium will be engaging and informative. I won’t try to list them all here but do check it out. There is a ticket fee of $75; pre-registration is required.
Registration information, a list of presentations and speaker bios.

I used to go often but It has been several years since I visited JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. I attended a few of their free virtual presentations recently, including last week’s exploration of their trial gardens. Hope to return in person now that the gardens are back open for visitors.

Hibiscus at Raulston Arboretum. October 7, 2017

And once with the local garden club I toured Tony Avent’s Plants Delights Nursery before it became Juniper Level Botanic Garden. Our tour guide’s name escapes me but he was great. (Just checked the date. Hard to believe it was in 2014!) This was one of my favorite sections of their gardens.

2014 Tour of Plant Delights

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens.

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

The gardenias are the prettiest and most prolific in years. I packed a blue stoneware pitcher full of fresh cuttings.

Gardenia jasminoides

The gardenias could have stood on their own but I needed to use the last of the saved peonies that have been stored in my refrigerator for too many weeks.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Charm’ (Coral Charm Peony)

Next a piece, then maybe two, of hydrangea added because it just looks its best this week.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Materials
Flowers
Gardenia jasminoides
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’ (Cape Jasmine)
Foliage
Hydrangea macrophylla
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’
Container
Stoneware pitcher glazed with bands of cream, green, blue. (pitcher and 4 cups, Pringle Pottery, North Carolina, circa 1977)

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

As always thanks to our host Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for providing this opportunity to to share our vases. Visit her to discover what garden surprises she and others are offering this week.

In A Vase On Monday – Gardenias In Blue Pitcher

Swallowtail Sighting

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Since 2018 I have seen a single Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) each year. Today was the day for 2021. I hope it won’t be the only one but at any rate it was thrilling to see this exotic looking butterfly this afternoon. It was sunny and 88 degrees F.

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

For the record I also saw two Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) earlier this morning and another (or one of the same) this afternoon. Verbena bonariensis was the attraction for both species.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

 

More Butterflies on Friday

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Accurately recording the butterflies seen in the garden this year is one of my goals, so I’m doing a bit of record keeping this afternoon to help me keep track.

Most of the time it is just a coincidence when I happen to spot one. That was the case at late morning when I noticed a Black Swallowtail flying around a front side border. It came to rest on some mulch in the front side bed and was patient for a brief time while I tried for a picture. Soon though I got too close. It lifted up and flew off over the house.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

I scurried to the back garden to see if I could relocate the black swallowtail. Sure enough there was a butterfly in the meditation circle, but it proved to be a different one.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

With a frantic flight pattern the butterfly darted from flower to flower, ignoring the usually popular verbena bonariensis in favor of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’.  I’ve been planning to clear out much of this penstemon from the meditation circle to make the path walkable again. But I may leave it a while longer. Bees love it and last year hummingbirds darted through it frequently, though I’m not sure if they fed.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

With help from iNaturalist I identified the butterfly as a Pipevine Swallowtail.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

The first butterfly I saw this morning, the black swallowtail, got away. I didn’t see it again today. No photo but I did see another Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) to add to my 2021 inventory.

 

Thursday Journal

The crinum lily began opening this week. Here’s a closeup from yesterday.

Crinum × powellii (Swamp Lily)

After some overnight rain the garden seemed to be breathing a sigh of relief.  My early morning stroll around the garden yielded nice surprises.

I’ve been checking this salvia all week and today found flowers at last. The petals are a luscious blue.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Ascending from among iris leaves and verbena bonariensis is a patch of lavender in the southern side garden, its first flowers drawing an attentive bee.

Lavender

Lavender

I knew the gardenias in the north-facing border were loaded with buds this year but discovering them today just opened in early daylight was a wonder. The fresh petals and irresistible scent are a winsome combination.  There are about 3 bushes, grown up about 7 feet high. My former next-door neighbor rooted them in little yogurt cups and shared them with me soon after we moved in. (We just passed our twenty year mark having closed on our house May 31, 2021.)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia) loaded with buds and the first flowers

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

Gardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)

I added three new salvia plants this spring. One has formed spires, the first of which revealed itself this morning.

Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage)

I adore hydrangeas but have not had success with them. This passalong H. macrophylla  is having perhaps its best bloom year yet, despite a late cold snap.

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Yesterday I spotted and chased around a tiny butterfly trying to capture its image. This morning I stumbled upon it (or maybe a cousin) in a much more cooperative mood. I was able to see this Eastern Tailed-Blue much closer up than yesterday. It was surprising to see one active early on such a cloudy day.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) on artemisia 

It was thundering like it meant it this afternoon as I began to write, and soon a heavy much-needed rain began to fall. Reverberating claps followed bright streaks of lightning the likes of which we hadn’t experienced in a long while. There is now a steady rain which I hope will continue for a while and return as needed to provide moderate and regular intervals the rest of the summer.

Looking ahead, I still have a few dahlias to plant out and new seed packs as well as saved seeds to do something with. I finally have a handful of zinnia seedlings the rabbits have not found. A tomato volunteered in its spot from last year and a friend passed along two Tiny Tim tomatoes he grew from seed.

The first of the shastas is open and lilies (daylilies and asiatic) look promising. Thanks for sauntering along through the garden with me today.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

 

Butterflies

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)

I chased a butterfly around yesterday afternoon, a tiny one named Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas). It did not let me approach very close so the pictures just give a hint of what it looks like in person.

It lit on a brick edging of the meditation circle, so here you can get an idea of the relative size.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

I had to enlarge the image a lot to show detail. Can you make out the tail?

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

The Eastern Tailed-Blue moved onto clover in the grass and eventually I could see the wings open.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) – center

Wings partly open:

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) -below and right of center

Here it is enlarged with the wings open.

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Another Silver-spotted Skipper visited yesterday enticed by the ever popular verbena bonariensis. It moved around quickly also but stayed let me near for pictures.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

I saw one Monarch butterfly 6 weeks ago, April 13, 2021, when there was little blooming for it to enjoy. The southern side path is ready for them now. The Asclepias tuberosa has more light this year and has responded accordingly.

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant)