I recorded 23 butterflies this week. As of yesterday I have noted 272 casual observances this year spread among 26 species. No lifers to report this week but I did see one species for the first time this year, Red Admiral, back after a 7-year absence.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are more frequent visitors recently, including this female. Females have this blush of bright blue near the base of the tail.
I love seeing the swallowtails. This one stayed only for a moment before sailing out of the garden.
Monday, August 8, 2022
Here are three views of the same Zabulon Skipper. This is the second one seen this year.
Dark morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are always female.
Homesteading above an Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ this spider designed an interesting web.
Last year I saw three species of Hairstreak. So far I have spotted only the Gray. They are small butterflies.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Ocolas are common visitors.
I have not tried to ID all the little grass skippers this year, but this one looked pretty nectaring on thyme in the meditation circle.
I chased a few more around and caught up with some settling onto the zinnias, their open wings revealing more detail.
There are usually one or two Silver-spotted Skippers around the garden on any given day.
Three is the most ET Swallowtails I have seen at any one time this summer. A few years back there would easily be six to ten. Their presence is no longer taken for granted.
There has been a significant decrease in the number of small bees and other insects in the past several weeks, but these large Eastern Carpenter Bees are still finding sustenance.
They are partial it seems to salvia and don’t mind taking a deep dive.
Thursday, August 11, 2022
On Thursday I saw the first Red Admiral in the garden since 2015. I’m told they are not usually seen on flowers, instead they are found on the ground on dirt or mud, rotting fruit, scat, etc., so this is a good “find” in a yard/garden.
The much larger swallowtail is what had initially caught my eye before I had my attention diverted by the Admiral. A Black Swallowtail, it darted off quickly so I couldn’t get a closer view, but it seems quite fresh and in good condition.
Dragonflies dart around constantly but often let me get close enough to photograph. This Great Blue Skimmer posed for several shots but most ended up out of focus. One of the larger skimmers, it is 2-2.5 inches (50-63 mm). Immature ones are brownish, blue ones are mature.
Like so many gardeners this year we’re watching anxiously for rain. Temperatures are expected to cool so that will bring relief. Hope your gardens are active and vibrant and bringing you joy this summer.