Author Archives: pbmgarden

About pbmgarden

Contemplating plants. Reforming my garden. Savoring peaceful moments. pbmgarden.blog

Wordless Wednesday—Angelonia In The Meditation Circle

I used this angelonia in my vase on Monday and several readers were unfamiliar with it. An annual here, it blooms all summer until first frost without deadheading.

Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’

Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’

Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’

Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’

Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’

Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’

In A Vase On Monday – Savoring The Moment

In A Vase On Monday – Savoring The Moment

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

At mid-October as cooler temperatures arrive, today I am savoring the garden’s late-season  flowers.

In A Vase On Monday – Savoring The Moment

In A Vase On Monday – Savoring The Moment

The stars of the vase are Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’, ‘Gallery Pablo’ and ‘David Howard’.

In A Vase On Monday – Savoring The Moment:  Dahlias

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’ and Zinnias

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’

The past two years sunset-orange D. ‘David Howard’ bloomed early and bloomed prolifically  until frost, but it is just starting to progress this year.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’ pouted its way through summer and finally looks happy and exuberant. I chose it this morning to accompany the large white dahlias. As I kept adding other materials the angelonia became less prominent, yet worked beautifully to frame the vase.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’ and Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Container
Raku vase, Charles Chrisco, Chrisco’s Pottery

In A Vase On Monday – Savoring The Moment

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 10/08/2021 – 10/14/2021

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Butterfly sightings have dwindled significantly. Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 7 observations (6 species), bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 579 (30 species).

Butterfly Sightings 10/08/2021 –  10/14/2021

10/10/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
10/13/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
10/14/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
10/14/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1

We had one satisfying rain a week ago, just following my last report’s lament on how dry it had been. (It came Friday, October 8 and well into Saturday.) Then a series of days marked by heavy, portending gray clouds gave way to clear blue skies without producing rain.

There have been few photo opportunities this week. Precipitation brought a sigh of relief and optimism, but did not bring out butterflies here.  Plenty of flowers for them to feed on are still available should they arrive.

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

My dahlias are double or semi-double which are not as easy for insects to feed upon as single dahlias would be, but zinnias and lantana are plentiful. (I ordered several singles but they didn’t survive.)

Lantana and Zinnias

I spotted one little hairstreak this week resting atop my passalong chrysanthemums, which are full of buds.

Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

Last year I saw an occasional butterfly into mid-November so I am hopeful the 2021 list will expand by a few more entries.

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In Textured Vase

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In Textured Vase

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

Rain came at last on Friday, a nice long slow soaking, bringing  temporary relief. The next day I gathered a variety of dahlias and conditioned them in water overnight. I passed along many to a friend, then allotted the rest among multiple vases. For this Monday’s vase I settled on a few purple cactus dahlias with white centers, whose name I do not know. This has been the most prolific bloomer this dahlia season. I paired them with fragrant gardenias which are putting on a great fall show.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In Textured Vase

The green container, a gift several years ago from my sister, is three-sided with purple glazing inside and a heavily scribed surface decoration.

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In Textured Vase

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp. – No ID
Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ (Ball)
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Foliage
Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Container
Glazed ceramic vase

I had intended to feature Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’ today but couldn’t get them arranged and photographed to my satisfaction. The colors are so pretty so I will sneak them in anyway.

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’

Likewise, I was happy to see Clematis ‘Niobe’  flowering again. It has quite a few buds. Out of proportion with its companions in this first attempt, it deserved to be included today but I ran out of time. Eventually I stood it upright behind the dahlias. I love its rich color.

Clematis ‘Niobe’ With Dahlias

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 10/01/2021 – 10/07/2021

October 2, 2021 – Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Since my last report I recorded 24 observations, down from 43 last report. The 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden is 572.  A chance encounter with a Common Checkered-Skipper added another species to those seen my first time (7 lifers this year)—a total of 30 species noted in the garden for 2021.

October 3, 2021 – Common Checkered-Skipper (Burnsius communis)

October 3, 2021 – Common Checkered-Skipper (Burnsius communis)

Conditions are dry and overcast with teasing gray, cloudy skies alternating with rich blue skies. Forecasts for a rainy week have led to disappointment. Today there is a 51% chance at 10 a.m. for about 0.3 inches, similar to predictions of past days. While running an errand across town Monday afternoon I was caught in a short-lived downpour, so I can attest it did rain locally, just not in this garden.

Butterfly Sightings 10/01/2021 –  10/07/2021
10/02/2021 Clouded Skipper – Lerema accius 1
10/02/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 2
10/02/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
10/02/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 4
10/03/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
10/03/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
10/03/2021 Common Checkered-Skipper – Burnsius communis 1
10/03/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
10/04/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
10/05/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/05/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
10/05/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 5
10/06/2021 Clouded Skipper – Lerema accius 1
10/07/2021 Clouded Skipper – Lerema accius 1

It was difficult to get photos this week. Lately Carpenter bees have used aggressive positioning to dominate the main nectar sources, Common lantana and zinnias.  The few monarchs I saw were constantly interrupted by the bees and would fly way up into the air, floating around, sometimes resting high in the redbud tree or a neighbor’s Japanese maple, before giving it another try.  Eventually the monarchs just moved on out of the garden. At my back fence looking toward a neighbor’s backyard, I managed to catch this monarch nectaring on remnants of Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower).

October 3, 2021 – Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

There are usually a few but this autumn has brought a surprising flush of blooms on the gardenias. Before this year I had never noticed gardenias attracting skippers.

October 3, 2021 – Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

I had help identifying this skipper from Harry LeGrand in the Carolina Leps group: “Clouded. VERY long proboscis, strong white costal band. They often nectar on morning-glory and many other tubular flowers; most skippers can’t reach the nectar on such flowers.”  Watch at full screen view if possible and you can see that proboscis in action in this video.

Missing: Last year I saw Red-spotted Purple, Painted Lady, Wild Indigo Duskywing and American Snout, but not yet this year.  Monarchs are scarce and very few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have stopped by the garden this year.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

 

In A Vase On Monday – October Messenger

In A Vase on Monday – October Messenger

Each Monday Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share a vase of materials gathered from our gardens. It has been another week without rain. 

Some of the dahlias are blooming more vigorously, like the one I’m featuring in today’s vase: Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’. [Apparently I’ve been misspelling the name of this flower as Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’.  I checked my records and it was sold under the latter name, but this year I noticed the change.]

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

I’ve grown this white semi-cactus dahlia for about three years. Bred in Japan and introduced in 1953 its name means “Messenger From The Moon.”  It seems to produce its best flowers in fall—some are finally reaching the promised 6-8 inches.

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Gardenias are having one of the nicest re-blooming periods I can recall. Last week I used foliage of Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’. This week the shrub is in bloom and I was able to include stems whose flowers are open, releasing their signature sweet fragrance.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

Last year all my dahlias seemed to be the nearly the same type and size, making it challenging to create arrangements. This year I ordered more variety, including a white ball form called Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ that has been useful.

Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’

I like the white-on-white effect and had planned to use only white flowers today, but a few remaining bare spots forced my hand. After taking a long time to produce, D. ‘Totally Tangerine’ has found its stride so there are fresh blooms daily.

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Maybe the design needed a bit of color after all.

In A Vase on Monday – October Messenger

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ (Ball)
Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ (Anemone)
Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’  (was: Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’)
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Foliage
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Container
Dark blue matte ceramic jar

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 9/25/2021 – 9/30/2021

September 27, 2021 Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Since my last report I recorded 43 observations of 10 species, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total in my garden to 548 (29 total species).  There has been no more rain.

Butterfly Sightings 9/25/2021 –  9/30/2021
09/25/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
09/25/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
09/25/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
09/26/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
09/26/2021 Sleepy Orange – Abaeis nicippe 1
09/26/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
09/26/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
09/27/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
09/27/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
09/27/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 6
09/27/2021 Pearl Crescent – Phyciodes tharos 1
09/27/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
09/27/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
09/28/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
09/28/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 4
09/28/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
09/28/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
09/28/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
09/28/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
09/29/2021 Eastern Tailed-Blue – Cupido comyntas 1
09/29/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 5
09/29/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
09/30/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 6
09/30/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
09/30/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
09/30/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1

I had no first-of-life or first-of-year sightings, but did enjoy seeing a few species that had not been around for a while. Yesterday saw the return of the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), the first since August 11. They were frequently seen around the garden in June and July. This one was hanging out among dahlias. It flew off as soon as I approached so I managed only a fuzzy, not-worth-sharing photo.

Last reporting period I had noted a Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) and this week saw one more. It was one of the first species seen in the garden this year, back in April 10, 2021. While I have been recording butterfly sightings I have only scratched the surface in learning about the individual species and their habits.

September 27, 2021 Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) was back this week also after being absent since August 10, 2021. As colorful and welcome as it was, I admit to hoping it was going to be a Painted Lady, which has been completely absent from my garden since last year, August 2, 2020. From following reports of other butterfly watchers I understand numbers for Painted Lady species is down across the state. I captured the American Lady busily nectaring on Common Lantana.

September 27, 2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Fiery Skipper still contributes to padding my number of total butterfly observations–they are easily observed in multiples. Anecdotally their numbers seem way down this year.

September 26, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

I continue to see a few Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola) here and there. This is another species other people note as absent from their reports.

September 27, 2021 Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

On Wednesday an Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) followed me inside onto the porch. It was in no mood for pictures. Though I left the door open it spent the next half-hour frantically trying to escape the screen. Eventually it found its way to freedom. I had last recorded seeing this species three times in June of this year.

September 29, 2021 Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

The other species seen this reporting phase are the most photogenic (or at least the most cooperative in allowing me to photograph them). I saw 4 Red-banded Hairstreak, 4 Cloudless Sulphur, 3 Monarch and 1 Sleepy Orange. I will close by sharing with you the graceful beauty of these creatures, but first here are several other visitors to the garden.

Suddenly there are lots of birds (which are too quick for my camera) and many grasshoppers.

September 27, 2021 Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis)

Perhaps this Carolina anole, sunning on a gazing ball underneath the zinnias, is hoping for supper.

September 27, 2021 Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Hummingbird Clearwings have been frequently seen this summer. The other day more than once this moth bumped the monarch out of its way. I’ve noticed carpenter bees feeding on lantana to be similarly aggressive lately.

September 28, 2021 Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

The male monarch was pristinely fresh.

September 27, 2021 Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

September 27, 2021 butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Lantana is universally popular as a nectaring source. The one Sleepy Orange I saw during this reporting period blended in with the multi-colored flower clusters pretty well.

September 26, 2021 Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

September 26, 2021 Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

For a few days I enjoyed seeing a Cloudless Sulphur in the yard, like this one intently feeding on zinnias.

September 25, 2021 Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

None of my single-form dahlias survived the rabbits and drought this summer, but there have been a few butterflies lured to the doubles. Dahlia ‘Break Out’ opened recently. Whether this Red-banded Hairstreak was able to nectar here I’m not sure.

September 25, 2021 Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

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

I was confused about the name of a dahlia last week—I had misremembered planting ‘Fairway Spur’ in its location.. But after a second flower opened Thursday with more distinctive coloring I checked my records and was able to identify it as Dahlia ‘Break Out’.  It matches the description used by the vendor in comparing it to D. ‘Café au Lait’, “Break Out’s petals are more pink than cream, and the center of the blossom has a golden glow. The flowers are also looser and more informal, with thick, velvety petals.”  I think it’s a lovely flower and planned to feature it solo for today’s Monday vase, using this photo.

Dahlia ‘Break Out’

But after our rains mid-week all the dahlias perked up a bit and I was able to cut a  good number of stems. I have been waiting all summer for these plants to produce and wanted to share the bounty with you today. While conditioning them in water I enjoyed the luxury of seeing each flower. I was particularly happy with ‘Totally Tangerine’, which until now had produced only one or two flowers at a time, malformed ones at that after suffering the drought and heat of summer. (Click an image for larger view.)

I considered arranging the flowers in the same vases as I had used to condition them, but as many of the stems were rather short, I decided to use floral foam so I could better control each placement.

I began with D. ‘Totally Tangerine’. The seller describes them this way: “flowers have a cluster of short and frilly orange petals in the center, surrounded by larger, daisy-like petals that may be flamingo pink, pale yellow or apricot, depending on the weather and time of year.” These flowers are brighter outdoors in sunlight and paler as they age. Mine feel almost coppery at times—I’m quite taken with them.

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Not quite open fully – Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

The arrangement went together fairly quickly but I soon ran out of the featured dahlia and enlisted the help of others in the same color range.

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ with Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

At this point the arranging was finished but I had yet to settle on a vase. I tried two versions and both worked fine. The first vase I tested, a green pedestal, seemed a bit too tall, but I came back to it in the end.

Vase 1A – In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

The second vase is a few inches shorter and makes the design seem fuller. The creamy color picks up the white flowers and makes them stand out more.

Vase 1B – In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

The foliage drapes easier around the neck of the second vase. I used gardenia as foliage. A few stems had buds so the bouquet is slightly fragrant.

Foliage: Lavender, Gardenia, Everlasting sweet pea with white Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp. (cactus, overwintered, prolific bloomer, no-ID)
Dahlia ‘Break Out’ (Dinnerplate)
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’ (Border Decorative)
Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’ (Ball)
Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ (Anemone)
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Zinnia
Foliage
Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’
Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Container
floral foam; plastic 6-inch Lomey dish
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”, 5-inches tall
Green Paper Mache Pedestal Urn, 8-inches tall

I have gone on too long but don’t you wonder what happened to the other flowers? I prepared them in a similar fashion, first arranging them into a small plastic dish and trying them with the two vases. Dahlia ‘Break Out’ is the focal point, supported by the purple no-ID cactus dahlias.

In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

The green vase is too stark for these soft floral colors, so I settled on the creamy vase for this arrangement.

Vase 2A – In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

Vase 2 B – In A Vase On Monday – Mixed Dahlias

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Thanks for your patience and 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 9/17/2021 – 9/24/2021

September 20, 2021 Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

Since my last report I recorded 11 observations of 6 species, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total in my garden to 505 (and approximately 29 total species).  The garden at last received a nice rainfall Tuesday and Wednesday. Flowers have perked up and I hope more butterflies will venture this way.

Butterfly Sightings 9/17/2021 –  9/24/2021

09/17/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
09/17/2021 White M Hairstreak – Parrhasius m-album 1
09/17/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
09/18/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
09/18/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
09/18/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
09/20/2021 Sleepy Orange – Abaeis nicippe 1
09/20/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
09/23/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
09/24/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
09/24/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1

Last report listed 21 observations so this week’s tally is down. Had I counted “little orange skippers” I could have matched that total, but they have been skittish and I could not get photos.  Most looked like Fiery Skippers but I do not trust my instincts enough to name them without pictures to back up the identification.  I did find a few Ocola Skippers; they are easier to know.

September 17, 2021 Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

There were a few more Hairstreak sightings, one White M  and several Red-banded. There is just a hint of the blue dorsal view but I couldn’t get a photo of one with open wings.

September 17, 2021 M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album) on Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’

September 23, 2021 Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) On Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)

September 17, 2021 Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

During this period I saw my first Cloudless Sulphur of the year (September 18) with another sighting today (September 24).

September 18, 2021 Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

September 18, 2021 Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

This butterfly seems willing to nectar on a variety of plants—I saw the one today alight on gardenia, several salvias, cleome, perennial sweet pea and dahlias. The salvias may have held the most allure. Both days I managed the best photographs on the salvias.

September 24, 2021 Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Thought this next image is cropped and not well-focused, today I managed to catch an open-wing view of the Cloudless Sulphur.

September 24, 2021 Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

I chased a Sleepy Orange around for quite a while the other day, eventually getting a close-up look.

September 20, 2021 Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

It settled briefly at lots of plants including this weedy one I have been trying to eliminate from the garden. I cannot remember its name at the moment but it spreads by runners and has travelled far and wide. At least it is providing some nutrients to the Sleepy Orange.

September 20, 2021 Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

It was interesting to see the open-wing view of this butterfly.

September 20, 2021 Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe). Open-wing, dorsal view.

Monarchs are endearing and always a welcome sight. This one’s wing has a slight fold or wrinkle that I worried about. Common lantana is a favorite nectar source.

September 20, 2021 Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

September 20, 2021 Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

Wordless Wednesday – Autumn and Camellia Fruits

Smiling Fruit on Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’

Wordless? Well, just a few whispers this rainy (yes actual rain is falling) Wednesday.

Welcoming September Equinox with a wistful sigh today Sep 22 3:21 pm EDT.

The garden’s nearly 20 year old Camellia sasanquas ‘Yuletide’ have produced fruits this year. I have a record of this pollinator achievement one other time in a photo taken also on this day in the year 2012.

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berries

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berries

[Note September 24, 2021:  After reviewing my records I have identified the mystery white dahlia as Dahlia Dinnerplate Break Out.]

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 – Peach Berries

The white dahlia in today’s vase was expected to be peach-colored Dahlia Dinnerplate ‘Fairway Spur’. This is the first flower from it to open and there was a slight suggestion of pink on a couple of the petals before it opened. The  only peach tones today are from last week’s Hypericum berries, which continue to look fresh.

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berries

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp. (overwintered, prolific bloomer, no-ID)
Dahlia Dinnerplate ‘Fairway Spur’ (probably mislabeled)
Foliage
Hypericum (St. John’s wort), purchased
Iris leaf
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berries

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.

Red In The Garden – Spider Lily Season

Standing against a backdrop of Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage), lovely Lycoris radiata is in full bloom this week. I marveled at these flowers as a child when year after year they popped up at my grandmother’s house.

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Butterfly Journal For 9/12/2021 – 9/16/2021

September 14, 2021 Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) on Tansy

Since my last report I recorded 21 observations of 9 species, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total in my garden to 494. These past 5 days have been decidedly more interesting than the previous two weeks were—I had one first-of-year sighting (Clouded Skipper) and one first-of-life butterfly (White M Hairstreak).

Butterfly Sightings 9/12/2021 –  9/16/2021

9/12/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
9/13/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
9/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
9/13/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
9/13/2021 Clouded Skipper – Lerema accius 1
9/14/2021 Pearl Crescent – Phyciodes tharos 1
9/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
9/14/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
9/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/14/2021 Clouded Skipper – Lerema accius 2
9/14/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 2
9/15/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 2
9/16/2021 White M Hairstreak – Parrhasius m-album 1
9/16/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/16/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1

Seen at separate days/times, here are the three hairstreaks I saw this week: White M, Gray and Red-banded. These are small butterflies about the size of my thumbnail. Their presence was not limited to one plant, but at different times each had settled on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) at some point, making for a nice collection of images.

Three hairstreaks seen this week. Top: 9/16/2021 White M Hairstreak – Parrhasius m-album; Bottom left: 9/16/2021 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus); Bottom right: September 15, 2021 Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

I photographed five Red-banded Hairstreaks during this reporting period across several days, so some may have been the same individuals.

September 15, 2021  Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

I have been seeing butterfly reports and images from others about sightings of White M Hairstreak nearby, but was very surprised to find one in my garden. Its abundance in North Carolina is listed as “rare to uncommon, but widespread,”  having been recorded across 2/3 of the state, just not in great numbers. This one will be added to my first-of-life list (when I get around to retroactively creating it). Can you spot the “M”?

September 16, 2021 -White M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album)

There were a lot of large active carpenter bees working the salvia. Occasionally the bees and the hairstreak shared the same stem for a moment until, like in the game musical chairs they scrambled for a new seat. Unlike in musical chairs there was room for all.

September 16, 2021 -Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) with White M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album)

I first saw a Gray Hairstreak this year on July 3, but had seen none lately until yesterday. This one looked very fresh and was cooperative as I took pictures as it performed its acrobatics.

September 16, 2021 -Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Soon after Kris last week mentioned seeing mostly Clouded Skippers in her Los Angeles garden and I replied I hadn’t seen any this year, one serendipitously popped up. When I initially saw it I had assumed I was photographing an Ocola Skipper, but iNaturalist suggested Clouded.  The next day I saw a couple more.

September 13, 2021 – Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

September 14, 2021 – Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

I have not seen more Clouded Skippers since Tuesday but yesterday did see an Ocola. It zeroed in on a last bit of goodness from a worn stem of verbena bonariensis.

September 16, 2021
Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

A brief encounter with this Pearl Crescent was the first since April 10. The butterfly quickly disappeared before I could get a good picture, so the evidence is a heavily cropped image.

September 14, 2021 Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Other species seen this week:

September 13, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

September 14, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

September 14, 2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

September 13, 2021 Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

I love the way the cheerful way the zinnia’s color reflects here onto the silver spot in this last image. Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

Wordless Wednesday – Mid-September Juncture

Reblooming Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlias From The Garden – No ID

Zinnia elegans ‘Purple Prince’

Zinnia elegans ‘Purple Prince’

Zinnia elegans ‘Purple Prince’ and Common Lantana

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berry Sparkle

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berry Sparkle

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

On a whim I picked up 3 stems of Hypericum at the grocery store yesterday. Hypericum berries make a long-lasting filler for floral arrangements and their peachy color appealed to me.

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berry Sparkle

Using a floral pin to hold the stems I first placed the Hypericum. Next I inserted lavender cactus-form dahlias all around, and ended with sunset-hued zinnias. The zinnias were what I had in mind when I spotted the peach hypericum at the store and the combination went together well. Not only did their colors blend, the berries added a helpful textural contrast to the dahlias and zinnias.

In A Vase On Monday – Peach Berry Sparkle

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia sp. (overwintered, prolific bloomer, no-ID)
Zinnia Cactus Flowered Mix
Foliage
Hypericum (St. John’s wort), purchased
Container
Ceramic vase by local potter

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 8/28/2021 – 9/11/2021

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Since my last report I recorded 28 observations of 7 species, bringing the annual butterfly total in my garden to 473. During this decidedly unexciting 15-day period, sightings overall were down with Fiery Skippers accounting for 12 of the 28, nearly 43%.

It has temporarily cooled off a bit but remains extremely dry.  A friend who lives 30 miles away experienced 2.5 inches of rain in one-half hour Thursday, causing a short-lived flash flood in her backyard, while we had barely enough rain to dampen the ground. Clouds have passed right by us all summer.

Butterfly Sightings 8/28/2021 –  9/11/2021

8/28/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/28/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/28/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
8/29/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/30/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/2/2021 Dun Skipper – Euphyes vestris 1
9/2/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 2
9/2/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
9/2/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/2/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
9/6/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 4
9/8/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
9/10/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
9/10/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
9/10/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 5
9/10/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
9/11/2021 Black Swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes 1

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Recently solo Monarchs have entered the garden, swept through the borders quickly and exited quickly without regard for the already dejected, resident paparazzi. Similarly, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails which are usually plentiful by also are sailing past rather than enjoying the delights of lantana and zinnias the garden table is offering. This monarch took an interest in verbena bonariensis.

September 8 , 2021 Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

The garden’s first Dun Skipper sighting since 2015 made it into this report. As is true with many of the skippers, I needed help with this ID. iNaturalist suggested a different species, but the yellow-gold on top of the head and few spots on the forewings helped my resources agree it is a Dun female.

Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)

After feeling rather disappointed about the current state of butterflies a mid-afternoon visit today from a spectacular Black Swallowtail has lifted my spirits. The butterfly was beautiful and appeared quite fresh.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Also hanging out in the garden in early September are huge spiders, anoles, bumblebees, birds, hummingbird clearwings and ever hopeful dragonflies.

Argiope aurantia (Black and Yellow Garden Spider)

Bumblebee (Bombus)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

Back to butterflies, this Ocola was particularly cooperative in posing.

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

August 28, 2021  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

 

In A Vase On Monday – Hue And Form

In A Vase On Monday – Hue And Form

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

I cut lots of flowers ahead of our daughter’s visit on Saturday but stayed busy with cooking her special foods as an early birthday treat. At the last minute before she arrived I grabbed a ceramic vase that was handy at the time and inserted a few stems.

The remaining flowers I had gathered are still sitting in containers being “conditioned.” I just never got back to them, but missing a Monday vase this year would be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle only to find the last piece has gone astray. So with a few quick photos and a fancy title, here I am catching up on Tuesday! Have a good week.

In A Vase On Monday – Hue And Form

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Dahlia sp.
Zinnia Cactus Flowered Mix
Zinnia elegans ‘Purple Prince’
Foliage
None
Container
Ceramic vase by local potter

In A Vase On Monday – Hue And Form

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 – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

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 – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

This is one of my favorite arrangements of the summer. It began as a different concept, lighter in weight, more airy, but ended up a round, tightly-packed, solid form with an arc of white flowers moving horizontally and an arc of pink flowers cascading vertically.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

Five Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’ opened all at once. This is a creamy white semi-cactus dahlia. I cut them and the other flowers Sunday afternoon when it was already 93°F.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

Three of the large flowers forming the pink arc are an unknown semi-cactus dahlia and one is D. ‘Cafe Au Lait’.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

Stems of a small white ball type, Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding’, along with salvias, gaura and common lantana fill out the arrangement. There are also a few sprigs of Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Flowers In Black Vessel

Materials
Flowers
Angelonia AngelMist ‘Spreading Berry Sparkler’
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Penhill Watermelon’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Dahlia sp.
Lantana camara (Common lantana)
Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage)
Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)
Zinnia
Foliage
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Container
Black Matte Dish With Red Interior

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.

Eastern Amberwing, Female Edition

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera), female

Yesterday, August 28, 2021 I came across another Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera), a female this time. She was very interested in the budding zinnia, which in turn called my attention to the flower’s intricate outline and pattern at this stage.

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera), female

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera), female

For comparison here the male Eastern Amberwing seen on August 22, 2021.

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera), male

Butterfly Journal For 8/20/2021- 8/27/2021

August 21, 2021  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

This week I recorded 33 observations of 9 species, bringing the annual butterfly total in my garden to 445. It has been very dry and hot and I have not spent much time outdoors lately so this is actually a surprising count. The numbers are helped by having a daily supply of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, including a dark female morph on several days.

August 23, 2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Butterfly Sightings 8/20/2021- 8/27/2021

8/21/2021 Black Swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes 1
8/21/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/21/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) 1
8/21/2021 Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) 1
8/21/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1
8/22/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 5
8/23/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 5
8/23/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1
8/23/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
8/24/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 3
8/25/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 3
8/25/2021 Sleepy Orange – Abaeis nicippe 1
8/27/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/27/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
8/27/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1
8/27/2021 Sleepy Orange – Abaeis nicippe 1
8/27/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
8/27/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
8/27/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) 1

A Monarch stopped by the garden this afternoon but wouldn’t let me near.

August 27, 2021  Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

While I was trying to get a close-up photo of the monarch I encountered some other butterflies I would not have noticed otherwise.

August 27, 2021  Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

August 27, 2021  Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

August 27, 2021  Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

I saw a first-of-year Sleepy Orange on August 25 with another sighting today.  I have better photos of this species from previous years. All images this week were rather poor, but I was excited to add another species to the 2021 count. [Note: Wikipedia lists the binomial as Eurema nicippe.]

August 25, 2021  Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) -First of year

Today the Sleepy Orange was nectaring on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage).  Glad to see it getting some respect.

August 27, 2021  Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

August 27, 2021   Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

Yesterday’s Surprise

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

I watched a presentation from the JC Raulston Arboretum on Wednesday about using cut flowers from one’s garden to create arrangements. One of the presenters shared Hedychium growing in the Raulston gardens in Raleigh, NC.

With such a dearth of rain this summer my passalong ginger lilies have looked pitiful, I thought to myself I probably won’t see any blooms in my garden this year. But in the side garden early yesterday morning I spotted rising out of the foliage a raceme of sweetly scented blossoms.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Some common names for this plant are Butterfly Ginger, Butterfly Lily, Cinnamon Jasmine, Garland FlowerGinger,  LilyWhite Garland,  LilyWhite Ginger.  Do the flowers remind you of butterflies?

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Eastern Amberwing

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)

The garden has been full of dragonflies and damselflies this summer. While watching for butterflies on Sunday I spotted this attractive Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera). I first saw one here in 2018 and again in 2019, skipping last year. So welcome back little pretty!

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)

Here is what I found out about this dragonfly species.

It is very small, reaching a total length of no more than 25 mm. The males have orange or amber wings. Both sexes have a red pterostigma. The eastern amberwing dragonfly is one of the only types of dragonfly that actively mimics a wasp. The yellow and brown stripes on its abdomen encourage predators to stay away. When perched, they will wiggle their abdomen and wings in a wasp-like fashion to deter other animals from eating it. Males have an elaborate courtship ritual. When a female approaches his territory, the male will lead her to his selected egg-laying site and hover above it with wings whirring and abdomen raised.

The common name refers to its eastern range, although this dragonfly does extend westward well into the central part of the United States. The scientific name, tenera, means delicate and alludes to its small size.

(Eastern amberwing, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eastern_amberwing&oldid=1002301961 (last visited Aug. 23, 2021).)

Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera)