This month Zinnias have been reblooming quickly after each cutting. I trimmed all that were open on Saturday and by Tuesday the next bouquet was proudly waiting to be picked.
Running into the garden between rain storms to gather more colorful flowers, I quickly became distracted by the birds and insects enjoying the garden on this last day of July.
Some visitors, especially birds such as Hummingbirds and American Goldfinches are difficult for me to photograph (hummingbirds too fast and goldfinches too shy). Swallowtails have refused to pose this summer. But now that I have learned to identify Silver-spotted Skippers it is fun to encounter them frequently around the zinnias.
I think these are Fiery Skippers. They are quite numerous and happy to feast on the zinnias.
An Ocola Skipper, the long-winged skipper, found the zinnias also.
I liked this picture with all three of the skippers. Everyone is gathered ’round.
Skippers also were drawn to Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower).
The rudbeckia is apparently also a satisfactory nectaring station for this Ocola Skipper.
It took me a while to identify this wasp, but isn’t it amazing to have resources available. Searching the web I finally found a match and decided this is Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta). I posted a couple of the images this evening on iNaturalist and within 12 minutes someone had confirmed my identification.
It is a striking black and white insect. Wings are iridescent blue-black. I read it is beneficial in the garden.
Recent storms have battered down a few plants, but cleome in the meditation circle has easily managed to stand tall.
Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ blooms sporadically and sparsely now. It likes the rain so perhaps will be encouraged to flower more generously. Hummingbirds visit it regularly.
What will August bring? I hope the zinnias continue to thrive.
I leave you with one more creature from the garden. I saw this dragonfly mid-afternoon, July 26, 2018. Its body appeared golden metallic. Amazingly beautiful.
Just got confirmation tonight on iNaturalist that the dragonfly is Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera).
This post took so long to write the month changed. Happy August.