Tag Archives: dragonfly

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

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)

Far Edge of July

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Reaching the end of July is unsettling—summer, slipping by.

The summer garden has had its disappointments. Hot and dry weather and grazing rabbits have left their mark. This week, at least, a couple of thunderstorms offered some relief from record-setting heat (Hurricane Isaias likely will add rain as well. I hope everyone along the U.S. East Coast will stay safe).  Despite the shortcomings of this season there are always discoveries in the garden to brighten one’s day.

This is my first time growing cerinthe. One plant began flowering this week.  After admiring it in others’ Monday vases, I decide to try it.  From a packet of seeds, I ended up with just half a dozen plants, which actually I had expected to have purple flowers and foliage. Rabbits nibbled away for a while but lately have left them alone.

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

This is the sole surviving plant from a packet of alyssum. Bad bunnies!


The garden has a lot of dragonflies. I have tentatively identified this as Bar-winged Skimmer.

Bar-winged Skimmer (Libellula axilena)

This young, tiny anole found cover quickly when I tried for a better photo.

Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) on Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Cleome flower heads seem to float above the meditation circle.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Dahlia ‘David Howard’ has proved to be my most reliable dahlia. It has great form and color.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

Dahlia sp.

I spotted Easter Tiger Swallowtails multiple times this week but they did not linger long. This one was tempted by the saliva.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) On Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) On Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Coneflowers continue to brighten the garden. This one volunteered in the meditation circle.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

With a name like August Beauty one might hope this gardenia will rebloom soon. This week three fresh flowers appeared.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’

I do not remember planting this gladiolus but was happy to have the companionship.


I have not seen many Horace’s Duskywings this year. I believe this one is my second—dining on a spent verbena bonariensis.

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

Crepe myrtles are the prettiest in years in my neighborhood. Blooms are mostly out of reach.

Lagerstroemia (crape myrtle)

Ocolas are plentiful around the lantana. This one is particularly worn.

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola) on Lantana camara (Common lantana)

Rabbits nibbled away as the rudbeckia emerged. The plants finally pushed upwards and bloomed under protection of a rabbit spray made from concentrated botanical oils, a gift from a neighbor.

Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

At one time I planned a red border, but never followed through after drought set in that year. I like this red salvia up close but it is not very showy from afar. Hummingbirds do find it but seem to prefer the Black and Blue salvia.

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

This Silver-spotted Skipper found a sweet delicacy, Lathyrus latifolius (Everlasting sweet pea).

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the weekend.

More Garden Visitors

As an addendum to my Wordless Wednesday post, here are a few more visitors to my garden this week. The first I believe is female—Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. She hurried off before I could get a good photo.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

There are a fair number of dragonflies this year. This particular bamboo stick is a favorite perch for them.

Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)

I had just started wondering why I hadn’t seen sulphurs this year when this one briefly appeared this week.  It’s the only one I’ve spotted though.

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

The most unattractive of the week’s visitors is this circada. It is actually near the bottom in the photo above as well.


Not a great bird photo but I can usually not get close enough for more than a blur.

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Hummingbirds have been numerous this summer. This one is female and less colorful than males.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Early Morning In The Garden

The severe winter was rough on this Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ but I cut it all the way back in early spring. It has been looking strong ever since. There are flowers, but I became distracted by the colorful young leaves this morning.

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Euphorbia 'Blackbird' (Spurge)

Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ (Spurge)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ is barely blooming this summer, but a few were encouraged to give it try after this week’s rain.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

While I was photographing the Black and Blue saliva a handsome dragonfly landed nearby for several seconds before dashing off.





The heat suits the zinnias just fine. This one looked particularly fresh in the morning light.

Zinnia In Early Morning Sunshine

Zinnia In Early Morning Sunshine