Another busy week is done that left little time for the garden. There were warm, humid days, stormy days, bright days with the bluest sky imaginable and on this sunny first of October morning the air has a refreshing chill (before warming to 78°F).
On the last few days of September, in brief segments measured merely in minutes, I wandered the garden to recharge, each time finding some small delight.
I have had a few monarchs visit each year but Tuesday marked the first time I have seen a viceroy. Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) is distinguished by the black line across the veins on its hind wings.
I spotted another yesterday (or perhaps the same one returned, but I think the black vein looks thinner).
My incarnations of Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ have not always been true to the catalogs but one plant in particular sometimes throws up a pretty one.
There were several other butterflies of note, a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) and a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). These are commonly sighted where I live but fairly infrequent in my garden.
A few dianthus plants are blooming more easily now the weather is cooler. How is this for a colorful greeting?
The small skippers were everywhere midsummer but numbers have declined significantly in the past 5-6 weeks. iNaturalist is my goto source to identify skippers (mostly fieries, ocolas). I found another clouded skipper this week.
An interesting creature, if not the loveliest, this grasshopper tried to hide from the camera.
I will finish with a quick video of the black swallowtail, frenetically searching for sustenance among lantana flowers.