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About pbmgarden

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

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)

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

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

I decided to create an Ikebana-style design today and ended up with what reminds me of a tropical drink one might be served at a touristy resort—full of citrus and rum and topped with parasols and blossoms, slightly awkward when it arrives.

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

I added a couple of lavender stems for straws and decided to offer it up. Although I have not travelled anywhere this summer here is a nod to enjoying an end of summer fling.

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

Materials
Flowers
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’
Lavender
Zinnia
Foliage
Container
Porcelain Ikebana vase, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)

So far Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’ is ungenerous with its flowers but they are striking when a few appear. I cut them this morning in hopes of encouraging more buds.

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

In A Vase On Monday – Tropical Drink

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 8/13/2021- 8/19/2021

August 19, 2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

This week I recorded 27 observations of 8 species, bringing the annual total to 412. At long last we had some rain so I hope to see more butterflies once the plants respond to much-needed water.

I had planned a more diverse garden this year to support butterflies at all stages but sadly I have seeds saved from last year and new packets of seeds still unplanted. (Rabbits rank high among my excuses.)

Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) and Lantana camara (Common lantana), both non-natives, continue to be the garden’s main nectar source. Native Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower) has finally opened but is drawing little action. Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) began going to seed early due to lack of rain, attracting lots of American Goldfinches, but since the rain this week a few more flowers have opened.  Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan) began flowering around July 4 and usually has a few insects on it.

August 14, 2021
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Another native, Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower), is quickly going to seed. Several weeks ago once zinnias and cosmos finally flowered a variety of butterflies appeared on them, but this week those plants attracted mainly a few (welcome) bees. Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) bloomed late May and early June and is setting seed, the okra-like pods preparing to burst. While there is no other milkweed to attract monarchs on their southward flight this fall they will usually nectar at the Lantana and zinnias and I hope this will be the case again. There were monarchs last week, but none this week.

Butterfly Sightings 8/13/2021- 8/19/2021

8/14/2021 Zabulon Skipper – Lon zabulon 1
8/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
8/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/15/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 3
8/15/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
8/15/2021 Pipevine Swallowtail – Battus philenor 1
8/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/16/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/16/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
8/16/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
8/18/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 2
8/18/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
8/19/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/19/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
8/19/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 5
8/19/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
8/19/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1

What’s happening here? A male Zabulon Skipper on a zinnia spots a female and joins her below on iris leaves.

August 14, 2021 Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon), male

 

August 14, 2021 Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon)

The male flies off when a smaller butterfly lands on the iris. I thought it was the same species but turned out to be an Ocola Skipper. The skippers are so hard to distinguish.

August 14, 2021 Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon), right and Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola), left

A couple days later it was interesting to see this Ocola nectaring on another non-native passalong, Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea). I haven’t noticed it attracting many pollinators.

August 16, 2021 Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Yesterday was another slow butterfly day, but I did spot a fresh Horace’s Duskywing. For a while I was seeing them often but this is the only one in this week’s report.

August 19, 2021 Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Everyday sightings of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) have become more frequent. This is the only large butterfly reliably visiting the garden now, not in great numbers but 1-3 on most days.

August 16, 2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

The sun is out this morning and I hope to watch for butterflies later.

How does your garden grow?

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Bowl

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 – Dahlias In A Bowl

Summer has been extremely dry and hot which may have affected flower formation in dahlias as well as other plants. We are beginning to get some rain again which should help increase flower shape and production.

An anemone type, Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ was planted June 25 and offered its first two blooms on Saturday with another on Sunday. I hoped to feature this new addition to my garden in today’s vase but I will have to wait for more flowers and then we’ll see.

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Two Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ flowers opened this week, more luncheon plate than dinnerplate in size—still lovely. Unlike the specimen from last week’s vase, these have the characteristic mocha pale-pink coloring typical of this hybrid.

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Bowl

Materials
Flowers
Cosmos ‘Bright Lights’ Mixed Colors
Dahlia Anemone ‘Totally Tangerine’
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Zinnia elegans
Foliage
Chrysanthemum
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Container
White ceramic shallow bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Bowl

In A Vase On Monday – Dahlias In A Bowl

Sincere 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 8/7/2021- 8/12/2021

August 11, 2021 Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

This week I recorded 34 observations, bringing the annual total to 385. There were 11 species, including one first-of-year and two first-of-life butterflies for me on the same day.

Butterfly Sightings 8/7/2021- 8/12/2021

8/8/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
8/9/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
8/9/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 2
8/9/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
8/9/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
8/9/2021 Zabulon Skipper – Lon zabulon 1
8/9/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
8/9/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
8/9/2021 Eufala Skipper -Lerodea eufala 1
8/9/2021 Little Glassywing -Pompeius verna 1
8/10/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 3
8/10/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
8/10/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
8/10/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
8/10/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
8/10/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/11/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 2
8/11/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 2
8/11/2021 Eufala Skipper -Lerodea eufala 1
8/11/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
8/11/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
8/11/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
8/11/2021 Little Glassywing -Pompeius verna 1

This is the first Zabulon Skipper I have seen this year. My first recorded Zabulon in the garden was last year, August 2020.

8/9/2021 Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon).  Male.

 

Here is my first ever Eufala Skipper, seen 8/9/2021 and another sighting 8/11/2021.

August 9, 2021 Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala)

August 11, 2021 Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala)

August 11, 2021 Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala)

 

The other new-to-me butterfly appearing on the same two days is Little Glassywing.

August 9, 2021 Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna)

August 9, 2021 Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna)

August 11, 2021 Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna)

Recently I’ve begun noticing Eastern Tiger Swallowtails flying up high into a tall pine tree just outside our back fence. One day from an upstairs window I could see a male resting/sleeping way up in the pine.  Beneath the tree branches is a favorite nectar source in my garden, a butterfly bush just inside the fence.

August 9, 2021  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Digressing from butterflies for a moment: There haven’t been many bees around recently since the Green-headed coneflower went largely to seed, but this summer I have enjoyed a few visits from these clearwing moths.

August 11, 2021 Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

August 11, 2021 Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

 

I saw several dark female Eastern Tiger Swallowtails this week. One featured for this week’s Wordless Wednesday was appallingly tattered and worn, yet actively feeding.  This one is in much better condition.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Hope your garden is absorbing, satisfying and engaging this summer.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cheer

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cheer

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

Today I planned to feature Dahlia ‘Petra’s Wedding,’ a ball-type dahlia.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cheer

It ended up taking on a support role when the larger orange Dahlia ‘David Howard’ and a bright yellow cactus zinnia were introduced.  A few stems of Cosmos ‘Bright Lights’ reinforced the citrusy colors.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cheer

The dahlias are not flowering in great numbers so I added everything else that looked fairly presentable. Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ returned from last year. Most of its flowers are more pink than the iconic pale pink and coffee ones, but there were a few of those last year.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cheer

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’  is a low-growing Border Decorative dahlia. This mature one sits tucked into the lower center of the vase. It has lost a few of its petals along the way.

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cheer

This is D. ‘Gallery Pablo’ in its youth with tiny flowers of Heuchera (Coral Bells).

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Cheer

Materials
Flowers
Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)
Cosmos ‘Bright Lights’ Mixed Colors
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘David Howard’
Zinnia, Cactus Flowered Mix
Zinnia elegans ‘Purple Prince’
Foliage
Chrysanthemum
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ (Coral Bells)
Lavandula x intermedia ‘Dutch’ (Dutch Lavender)
Container
Hand-thrown Seagrove Pottery (olive-artichoke)

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 8/1/2021- 8/6/2021

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

In what has proved to be an underwhelming butterfly week I recorded 52 observations, bringing the annual total to 351.  The sightings this week were limited to 7 species (all previously recorded this year): Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch, Silver-spotted Skipper, Fiery Skipper, Ocola Skipper, Horace’s Duskywing, and Sachem.

Butterfly Sightings 8/1/2021- 8/6/2021

8/1/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/1/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
8/1/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/1/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 4
8/1/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
8/2/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 8
8/2/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
8/2/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/2/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
8/4/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/4/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
8/4/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
8/4/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/5/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
8/5/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/5/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
8/5/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
8/5/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 2
8/5/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1
8/6/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 2
8/6/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 11
8/6/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
8/6/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1

We finally had a couple days of cooler weather. The temporary relief from the summer’s heat was welcome yet poignant. I’m never ready for summer to end but already I sense it. On one day in particular when I searched for butterflies the stillness in the garden was almost eerie.

Rain started falling yesterday evening and this morning there is a nice steady shower—precipitation has been passing us by for weeks, even when areas nearby received several inches at a time.

In the garden little is blooming except a handful of annuals (zinnia, cosmos), Common lantana, and Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush).  Verbena bonariensis has mostly gone to seed and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is headed to seed too, bringing in lots of American goldfinches. The few dahlias that managed to survive this year are doubles, not as attractive to pollinators as the single form.

Early in the week two monarchs passed in and out of the garden, too quickly for more than a just a glimpse. Most butterflies noted this week were little skippers. I had help identifying this skipper as Sachem.  So many look alike and in my garden most of these little ones turn out to be Fiery Skippers.

Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) (Female)

I have taken lots of pictures of Fiery Skippers but I was surprised to catch this one in flight with open wings.  I usually catch them nectaring with wings either closed or partially open.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

 

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Although Common lantana appears to offer pollinator appeal, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan), which took a lot of years to become established, is attracting Fierys and other insects regularly.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

 

It is nice to see some butterfly activity around the new-this-year Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage). I’m having a hard time staying on top of deadheading it though—seems very needy.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Ocola Skippers are often seen in the garden.  They have long forewings and I read they may feed while hanging upside down—like this one.

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the only species of larger butterflies I could photograph this week. Seeing missing portions from the hindwing makes me wonder what all these creatures must endure, what narrow escapes they make.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Some of the individuals are quite tattered and many are also worn. A fun fact gleaned from a Leps social media group explains the difference between fresh and worn: fresh butterfly wings are loaded with scales (think layers of shingles on a roof) that wear off. The butterfly wings rubbing together over a few days results in scales wearing off and causing the colors to fade — in most species. I haven’t done this but supposedly if you were to run your finger across a wing, you would get some color smeared on your finger, as you have gotten some scales on you it.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Here is a very worn duskywing and a fresher one.

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

I do hope to see more different species. Last year I was informally keeping track and saw 7 species in August that I have yet to record this year. It will be interesting to see if butterflying picks up next week.

Wordless Wednesday – Early August Morning

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’

Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’

Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’

Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

In A Vase On Monday – August Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – August Bouquet

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 – August Bouquet

Mini Carnations purchased for last week’s book club meeting help flesh out today’s arrangement of mostly dahlias. The dahlias are slow to come into their own this year but I think the zinnias will steal the show anyway this summer.

In A Vase On Monday – August Bouquet

In A Vase On Monday – August Bouquet

Materials
Flowers
Mini-Carnation (Dianthus)
Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’
Dahlia Border Decorative ‘Gallery Pablo’
Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’
Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)
Salvia yangii (Russian Sage), previously known as Pervskia atriplicifolia
Zinnia
Foliage
Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’
Container
Ceramic Urn Stamped “Vintage 4”

In A Vase On Monday – August 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.