Tag Archives: July garden

Butterfly Journal For 7/23/2021- 7/30/2021

July 25, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

I recorded an amazing 112 butterflies during this reporting period. The annual total is 298.

Butterfly Sightings 7/23/2021- 7/30/2021

07/23/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/23/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/23/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/23/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/24/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 23
07/24/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 7
07/24/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 2
07/24/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/24/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1
07/24/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/24/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/25/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 6
07/25/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
07/25/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/25/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/26/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/26/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/26/2021 Pipevine Swallowtail – Battus philenor 1
07/26/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 6
07/26/2021 Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades 1
07/26/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 2
07/26/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/27/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3
07/27/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/28/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/28/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 3
07/28/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/29/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/29/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/29/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 2
07/29/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 8
07/29/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/29/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
07/29/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
07/30/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
07/30/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/30/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/30/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 10
07/30/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 4
07/30/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1

Within this new period 53 were Fiery Skippers and 14 were Ocola Skippers. These small creatures abound around the Common Lantana, Verbena bonariensis, Butterfly Bush; they also vie with bees and other insects at the Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower).

July 24, 2021 Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

The small skippers are difficult for me to identify with any certainty, but I am making an attempt. In my last report I had decided to just omit these species because of my uncertainty and the time it takes first to make a reasonable guess and second to verify the guess. But after asking for advice on the listserv where I have been reporting my butterfly sightings this year, I was encouraged to do report all species.

Harry LeGrand in Raleigh who is in charge of the collection data and statistics that end up online at Butterflies of North Carolina: their Distribution and Abundance offered a rule of thumb. “If any orange or yellow on them, 90% likely are Fiery, and the rest as Sachems.  That should be the Chatham County ratio. The dark ones likely Ocola and Clouded, with a few others like Dun possible. ”  Of the grass skippers I uploaded to verify this period, all were identified as Fiery or Ocola.

I saw the praying mantis in this photograph only when reviewing the images. Was the male Fiery paying attention?

July 26, 2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

In other news I can report a discovery and a correction: On 07/26/2021 I learned what I had been chasing as a Silver-spotted Skipper was a new-to-me Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades).  After reflection I realized I had earlier on 07/13/2021 made the same mistake and had misidentified it in my last butterfly journal. It’s been corrected now.  I was told Hoary Edge is often difficult to get in a garden. They are seen in Piedmont region of North Carolina where I live but are more easily found in the Sandhills.

July 26, 2021  Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)

For comparison here is the Silver-spotted Skipper.  I see these often.

July 24, 2021 Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Nearly every day I observe 1 or 2 Horace’s Duskywings. Yesterday there were a record 4.

July 28, 2021  Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

More American Lady and Common Buckeye butterflies are visiting the garden than ever before and are recently observed enjoying cosmos flowers. I have not grown cosmos in many years but the orange and yellow flowers provide a well-coordinated color palette for photographs.

July 28, 2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 28, 2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 28, 2021 Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) on Cosmos

There have been a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, some pristine, some sadly worn and plucked.

July 29, 2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

I was ecstatic to see another Pipevine Swallowtail (last seen 6/14/2021). It was an unexpected treat.

July 26, 2021 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

July 26, 2021 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

July 26, 2021 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

And more!  Yesterday and today Monarchs stopped by.  Some of you have reported seeing these already. One had popped by here in early April when it was still unusually chilly. Hope we all see many more this summer.

July 29, 2021 Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

This has been a rewarding summer of butterflies.

Butterfly Journal For 7/17/2021- 7/22/2021

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

I recorded 34 butterflies during this reporting period. The annual total is 186.

Butterfly Sightings 7/17/2021- 7/22/2021

07/18/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/18/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/18/2021 Skipper sp. 10
07/18/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/18/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/20/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/20/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
07/20/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/20/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/20/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
07/20/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/21/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
07/21/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/21/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
07/21/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/22/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1

The most thrilling butterfly moment this week: seeing a Zebra Swallowtail two days apart.  (There had also been one in early June.)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 18, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

July 20, 2021 – Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Plenty of Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae), especially Fiery and Ocola, go uncounted in my unofficial survey. These insects flit from flower to flower, bump into each, dart away suddenly and land near or far, making it hard to get accurate counts. As I’m not confident of knowing these skippers by sight, it is a time-consuming effort to photograph and verify those that show up around the garden. So for them I am mostly selecting one or two to represent the group.

July 18, 2021 – Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

July 21, 2021 – Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) 1

This year Silver-spotted Skipper and Horace’s Duskywing are regularly seen, not in huge numbers but one or two nearly every day. Common Buckeye and American Lady also are more frequent this year.

July 21, 2021 – Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

July 21, 2021 – American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

July 21, 2021 – American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Tuesday I photographed my first Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) of the year. Previously I had seen only one in July 2014 and a second in August 2015.

July 20, 2021 – Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are always a welcome sight.

July 20, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is attractive to butterflies, bees and many other insects.

July 18, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

July 20, 2021 – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Exploring for butterflies this summer in my garden has been a fun project.

Butterfly Journal For 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021

07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

[Note: updated 7/28/2021 to correct ID of Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus to Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades.]

Sometimes I spot a butterfly from a window, other times I actively choose a time to search along the borders. The most fun is when I’m working in the garden and one unexpectedly floats by, sending me chasing it for a brief time to capture the moment. Such a serendipitous encounter occurred yesterday. From the corner of my eye I caught painterly colors drifting by. They belonged to a Black Swallowtail. It entered the garden at the same time as an Eastern TIger Swallowtail. Both headed for the lantana which was already serving a good number of customers.

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

The Eastern Tiger moved on quickly, startled I think by a bee or skipper trying to share the flowers. Within two minutes the Black Swallowtail had also departed, leaving me conscious of the fleetingness of the moment.

07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Butterfly Sightings 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021

07/13/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2 Common lantana; Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/13/2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) 2 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1 Common lantana
[next ID updated 7/28/2021:]
07/13/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades 1 Common lantana
07/13/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3
07/13/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1
07/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 3 (1 is dark morph)
07/14/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/14/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/14/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
07/14/2021 Skipper sp. 10 on lantana and butterfly bush
07/14/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/14/2021 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) 1
07/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
07/15/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1 Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)
07/15/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1
07/15/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/15/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
07/16/2021 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae 1
07/16/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 4
07/16/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/16/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 2
07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 2 (1 is dark morph)
07/16/2021 Black Swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes 1
07/16/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2

Here are a few glimpses of the butterflies seen from 7/13/2021- 7/16/2021. In addition to the one mentioned above, there have been a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails with a couple of sighting of a dark morph, one on July 14 and yesterday, July 16. I have no way to know if it’s the same individual, but the more recent one is decidedly aged.

07/13/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

07/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) -Dark morph

07/16/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) -Dark morph

07/13/2021 Hoary Edge – Achalarus lyciades (Originally I had misidentified it as Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus.)

07/13/2021 American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

07/13/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

07/14/2021 Pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

07/14/2021 Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

07/14/2021 Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

There are other insects around of course. Now that Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is open in several parts of the garden, the bees gather eagerly.

07/14/2021 Bees on Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Dragonflies have been prolific this year and this week I noticed a damselfly as well.

07/13/2021 Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta)

07/15/2021 Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans)

07/14/2021 Fragile Forktail (Ischnura posita)

Hope your gardens are filled with wondrous sights that fill you with awe.

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!

Alyssum

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.

Gladiolus

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.

Wordless Wednesday – Garden Benefits

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

Junonia coenia (common buckeye)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

 

July Juncture

Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower)

Summer has turned the corner in my garden and plants are tired, weary and thirsty. July has been hot and mostly dry. Although we have had a few thunderstorms often dark clouds pass overhead to find a different target than our neighborhood . I have watered selectively, but sometimes even include the coneflowers because they are doing so well this year.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

In particular when watering by hand I’m trying to encourage the dahlias as well as my two tomato plants which were planted very late. (I tasted the first two grape tomatoes this week. The German Johnson shows little interest in producing more than just the two still-green specimens that formed early.) The dahlias are not doing as well as last year but a few nice ones show up. It’s so hot they don’t last long.

Dahlia ‘David Howard’

I am still trying to outwit the rabbits to protect a third sowing of zinnias. Spraying frequently seems to help some but is not a good long-term solution. My neighbor is scouting for rabbit fencing but supplies are out. It seems it will be costly anyway and fairly unattractive. If you have found a good solution to keeping rabbits at bay, we welcome your advice. She and I have white vinyl picket fencing (as dictated by our homeowner’s association) and is open at the bottom. She had installed chicken wire along the base but the rabbits are still slipping inside. One thing left unbothered by rabbits has been this crinum lily. The plant has had three tall shoots so far. Individual blooms are delicate.

Crinum × powellii (Swamp Lily)

This week on Instagram I joined Amy @newgatenarcissi for another #gardenmonthlycollage on for July 2020. There are so any images to choose from for July, but for the collage I found several for which I had made some Waterlogue counterparts.
Left to right: Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) on Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)
Canna With Echinacea (Purple coneflower)
Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa)
Bombus (Bumble bee) on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ hummingbirds seem to adore, but unfortunately mine is producing few flowers. (A tip I recently heard on an old Gardeners World episode is the salvia may just be too “happy” and it needs to be moved to where it will be stressed and has to work harder.)  I love to hear a hummingbird’s wings as they nectar close by. Other birds we are seeing now are American goldfinches, eastern towhees, nuthatches, cardinals, house finches, chickadees and lots of little brown sparrows, all which frequent the feeder. Mourning doves stop by and lumber around the meditation circle.

Yesterday I saw a new-to-me white moth which I have identified tentatively as White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata). It flew frequently as I tried to photograph it and it always landed under a leaf, making it challenging to get a clear image.

White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata) underside

White Palpita Moth (Diaphania costata)

Cleome has taken over the meditation circle again this summer but it is hard to mind.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome and rudbeckia provide the most color to my garden right now. Both attract lots of bees.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Finally coming into full bloom this month, Lantana draws many pollinators, such as this little skipper.

Lantana camara (Common lantana)

But where are the butterflies this year? Very few have passed by that I have seen. This one seems to have had a hard life.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

That is a look at July so far. 95° F.  Be safe.