Tag Archives: butterflies 2022

Garden Journal July 31-August 5, 2022

Garden View August 5, 2022

The garden had a good tidy and mow this week. Considering it is August, I am happy enough with the way it looks I will share a long-view photo. There are still some sections (lower corners of the photo) where I am battling bermuda grass. It does not want to give up, nor do I. Covering the affected areas with heavy layers of cardboard and mulch for months has been effective, but unsightly.

We have had several rains, some with thunder, some with sun. They didn’t bring much precipitation but each drop this summer has been especially satisfying. Each shower encouraged a fresh batch of summer flowers and butterflies.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Butterflying has been very casual this year, still I have noted 248 butterflies, 24 species in the garden. This week added two first-of-year sightings—Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) and Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos). Both were difficult to photograph but whereas the Sleepy Orange didn’t return for a photo op, I had multiple chances with Pearl Crescents throughout the week.

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) on Green-Headed coneflower

While Common lantana, Zinnias, Butterfly bush, Green-Headed coneflower and Black-eyed Susans were popular insect hubs this week, dahlias seldom draw more than a passing glance. I ordered some single variety dahlias this year, which are supposed to be more useful than doubles and semi-doubles for pollinators, but they didn’t grow.

Here are some of my favorite scenes from the past few days.

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius) Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm) often draw hummingbirds

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – dark morph female

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Zinnia

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Gladiolus ‘Performer’ (Large Flowering)

Double-banded Scoliid Wasp (Scolia bicincta) on Green-headed coneflower

 

Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila procera) on Green-headed coneflower

Dahlia ‘Tsuki Yori No Shisha’

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – a fresh beauty

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Side view of same butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – One more side view of same butterfly

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) -Nectaring on zinnia in front of a sea of black-eyed Susans

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’

Dahlia Ball ‘Petra’s Wedding’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Art Deco’

Angelonia ‘Serena Blue’ and Italian Parsley

Zinnia

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna) on Green-headed coneflower

Silent Sunday – Garden Journal July 25-30, 2022

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) – Male

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Ringed Assassin Bug Pselliopus cinctus on Liatris Spicata ‘Blazing Star’

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’

Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’

Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) – Open Wings

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) – Female dark morph

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Zinnia – Heard a different drummer

Zabulon Skipper (Lon zabulon)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata)

Ah, Summer In July!

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) – Meditation Circle at Sunset July 14, 2022

Hot, yes. But summer, ah! My husband and I enjoy the daily comings and goings of hummingbirds and American Gold Finches as they forage. Songbirds and cicadas provide a satisfying soundtrack to garden wanders. Paths in the meditation circle are too overgrown to make room for walking but at least the culprits are not weeds this year, but rather cleome rising up 5 or more feet. They seed easily and though I committed to staying strong and trying to reclaim the meditation circle for walking meditations, I aways think maybe I’ll keep just a few.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Last year I made a habit of checking the garden every day for butterflies, logging 600 individuals from 33 species.  This year I have checked only sporadically, counting 113 from among 20 species. So far I have managed two lifers, a Least Skipper and a Great Spangled Fritillary.

There are two stands of green-headed coneflower in the garden and both are abuzz with activity most of the day with a diversity of insects: bees, a few butterflies and various insects I have identified previously but haven’t learned. They work the flowers with intentionality—some hustle, some accommodate. Their encounters set up a communal rhythm of lighting, feeding, and scrambling for another place to land.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

This is one of three buckeyes spotted this year. Like many of the butterflies seen so far it escaped being dinner for something higher up the food chain.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

It is fascinating to discover how varied butterflies present themselves depending on position of wings. This Eastern Tailed-Blue allowed just a tease of its spread-winged blue coloration. Can you spot it in the lower right quadrant above the unopened black-eyed susan?

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

Dragonflies are numerous.

Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)

Since March eight Eastern Tiger Swallowtail have appeared, though it seems like fewer.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Not quite sure but iNaturalist suggests this is Slaty Skimmers (Libellula incesta).

Slaty Skimmer

A second hairstreak showed up this week, also on the Rudbeckia (I suppose it could be the same individual, so I should say second sighting). Last year I observed two other species of hairstreak as well that are absent this year.

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

This American Lady was too speedy and feisty for me to approach.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

A few zinnias are established from seed. Never got them all planted because the rabbits were devouring them (even with my rabbit fence—they’re ensconced within the fence!).

Zinnia

This entire section of the border was meant to be full of dahlias. Some tubers didn’t return, some new ones didn’t emerge, some still hold promise. More rudbeckia in background full of insects. Only one phlox survived the rabbits.

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’, Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Lantana and Black-eyed Susans are adding a big splash of color in the southern border. Drought-resistant, yes, but they appreciate water too and it has been very dry. I am headed out soon to give them a drink. A shower yesterday lasted only 2-3 minutes.

Lantana camara (Common lantana) and Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Sipping at the butterfly bush, this black swallowtail appeared yesterday and marks the 20th species of butterfly for 2022. The swallowtails are so lovely.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ is about 4 feet tall and is beginning to offer a few flowers.

Dahlia ‘Great Silence’ (Decorative dahlia)

The blackberry lily seeds from my sister were a great gift to the garden. Polinators find them attractive. Most are orange but this one has a decidedly red tendency.

Iris domestica (blackberry lily)

Can you spot the Silver-spotted Skipper at center of the frame? The wings glow in the gold of the black-eyed susans.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Why don’t I stake gladiolas? G. ‘Flowering Performer’ is new this year with a whitish streak in the center of the petals.

Gladiolus ‘Flowering Performer’

Several liatris survived nibbling and have become popular way-stations for bees and other insects.

 

Liatris Spicata ‘Blazing Star’

The garden is feeling more robust this year despite the dry weather. A haven from worldly cares, it offers a kind respite where the pace of life can slow, where nourishment can be found.

Wordless Wednesday – Celebrity Sightings

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Tomato ‘Celebrity’

Early July Notables

It is hot and humid, typical for summer in North Carolina. As we enter July the garden is thirsty. I’m hand watering every other day which has the benefit of keeping close check on the progress of individual plants. Since June 7 daylilies have been flowering. I can’t get enough of this particular one. It seems to have swallowed the morning sun.

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

This week brought a first-of-year garden sighting of a butterfly only ever observed here once before, in July 2019. It didn’t stay put very long.

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)

A Snowberry Clearwing made a brief buzz-by. This butterfly bush was a busy hub today, also hosting a variety of bees, several skippers and a worn swallowtail.

Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola) and Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Dahlias planted in early April have grown slowly. The first flower of D. ‘Noordwijks Glorie’ opened up this week. It is showy in the garden itself and promises to be valuable in arrangements as well.

Dahlia Decorative ‘Noordwijks Glorie’

Happy Sunday!

Silent Sunday – Enjoying The Summer Garden

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Brown-belted Bumble Bee (Bombus griseocollis)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) – One of a pair resting on Tomato Cages

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

First Friday In June

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

The garden required heavy watering this week as temperatures settled above 90F until today when cloud cover (but not rain) brought some relief. Our 21 year old upstairs air conditioner chose this time to fail so the heat was experienced here full on. Having grown up without AC this brought back memories of hot humid nights, but no doubt this severity of heat then would have only been in August, not this early in (not even quite) summer.

The iris beds are overgrown and overrun with a pesky aster. The last 3 mornings I have chased away a rabbit in that area that is evading my new fence by entering under the gate, which has been hard to secure completely. Weeding is getting ahead of me but all in all the garden is hanging in there.

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Crinum × powellii (Crinum lily)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Buddleja davidii ‘Adokeep’ (Adonis blue Butterfly Bush)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Lilium ‘Black Out’ (Asiatic lily)

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Started seeing a few more butterflies this week. This butterfly was huge. It didn’t stick around long after I began pointing my camera. By 4:20 pm when I noticed it, the asclepias was greatly wilted from the heat. This seems to be a new early sighting county record (by one day).

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Strange new moth sighting–this flies in daytime.

Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis)

Are these lily beetle eggs? Anna of Green Tapestry just Monday asked if they were a problem here, but I’ve never known them.  iNaturalist suggested the lily beetle ID.

Lilioceris lilii (ily leaf beetle)

Happy gardening this weekend.

Wordless Wednesday – Portraits Of Early April

Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’

Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’

Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ and Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’

Flowers Catching Breeze With Birdsong

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ and Tulipa clusiana ‘Cynthia’

Iris ‘Crimson King’

April 3, 2022 Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) on Cupressus arizonica, the Arizona cypress

April 3, 2022 Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

Question Mark with Chimes and Birdsong

Dutch Iris

Dutch Iris