Sunday, September 14, 2014


There are several kinds of goldenrod growing in our yard.  I don't remember what kind this first one is, but I've had this kind for quite a few years, and it has seeded itself around the yard.  It looks the closest to the native goldenrod most people are familiar with, which some blame for hay fever, but the true culprits are wind pollinated plants, such as ragweed.

Stiff goldenrod, Oligoneuron rigidum, native to our area, is also seeding some in the yard, but is not stiff.    I tie it up, but it still flops, especially this year, I think, because of all the rain we've had maybe.  Next year, I plan to cut it back in the spring to see if it will bush out more and not flop.

Still, there have been pollinators and other critters making use of them.


The day after these were taken, I noticed a whole lot of activity on the Stiff goldenrod, so took more photos.

There are several clumps of Riddell's goldenrod, Oligoneuron riddelli, native to the states north, south and east of us, and only this one is sprawling.  I'll try to get it tied up in the next few days.

This is also Riddell's goldenrod, directly behind the sprawling clump.

These plants had the most activity today.  I wish I could remember the names of the wasps and bees that visit the plants.

There were three wasps on the blooms.  The one on the left was smaller than the one on the right, which is also in the previous photo.  There was a third one that I'm thinking was the size of the smaller one.

This is one of the smaller ones.  After looking at the photos, I'm thinking the smaller ones were the same kind of wasp as the larger one, so maybe it's because one is male or female, and the other two are the other.

This is another photo of the larger one.

This clump may be a self sown one from across the yard.  It is smaller than the others, and nice and upright.  The bicycle also provides some support for it.

 It also had some visitors.  I'm not sure what kind of bee this is, but it is smaller than a honey bee.

There were different kinds of wasps as well.  My hand got very close to most of the bees and wasps, like it usually does.  With this one, I got within a couple inches, and it did not seem phased.

I am not sure what the three small insects are, but they were very tiny.  The one on the right may be a sweat bee.

This wasp was smaller than the others, maybe 3/4 to an inch.

Zigzag goldenrod, Solidago flexicaulis, is difficult for me to photograph.  This is one that can take some shade and likes moisture.

Here is a closer view of the blooms.  This does get visited by insects, but not as many as some of the other goldenrods.

Fireworks goldenrod, Solidago rugosa, 'Fireworks' is a fun cultivar I bought several of from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum plant sales.

It has just started to bloom.  I only saw one insect on it this day.

In the back yard, the 'Wichita mountains' goldenrod, Solidao, 'Wichita Mountains' blooms are not quite open, but should be soon.  This is one that gets lots of insect activity.

What kinds of goldenrod do you grow?  Do you see lots of activity on them?  I am not ready for fall, but we sure are having cooler temperatures.  I think this week is expected to have highs in the 70s.  I guess that does sound good.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wildflower Wednesday

The day is almost over, but I want to join in, and have had my photos ready since yesterday for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.  I saw that Gail did her post on Black-eyed Susans, and she included a number of photos of insects, like I like to do.

This is Tall coreopsis, not quite native here, but is in near by areas.  It likes shade and moisture.  I have one clump of it, and it is on the east side of the house.  It does not get a whole lot of watering, but the area probably does not dry out as much as more exposed parts of the yard.  This is the second year for it, and I have seen a number of insects on it.  I'm pretty sure this is a Hoverfly.

I am pleased to have a number of Pitcher sage plants, 'Nekan', which are locally native.  Now that a number of summer bloomers are starting to form seeds, these are coming into their own.  It's a good thing, too, because most of the other blooms in our yard are yellow.

The Prairie dock plant is blooming now that the Cup plant is almost finished.  The blooms are very similar, and both are frequented by the pollinators.  Can you see two in this photo?

This is my second year growing Sweet black-eyed susans.  I sure like them!  I have seen a number of bees on them, but this time, it's a Soldier beetle.

We have Brown-eyed susans, smaller blooms than the Black-eyed ones, and very prolific self sowers.  I have to give some away and still pull some out each year.  They are nice for color this time of year, though, and are frequented by a number of insects.  Can you see the one in the photo?

Here's a closer view.  If you can identify any of the insects in these photos, please let me know.  This one was about half an inch long if I am remembering correctly.

This Painted lady butterfly was originally on the Helen's flowers mingled with the Brown-eyed susans.

Back to the Tall coreopsis, I am thinking this may be a Long-horned bee.

I'm not sure what this tiny creature is, but I like the details of the Tall coreopsis bloom.

Oh, wait, maybe this is the Long-horned bee.

This photo was taken later in the day.  I was excited to see a monarch on the Prairie dock bloom.

I had also seen a Monarch on some Rigid goldenrod, but it didn't stay around for a photo.  I decided to take a photo of the Blister beetle, and just noticed another Soldier beetle as well.  I just read that it is a heavy self sower, and needs competition.  I guess I have had some self sowing, but not too much so far.  I need to plant some things closer to mine, and maybe move a couple that get too tall for the space they are in, and tend to flop over.  They are just now opening their buds, so they extend the blooming season when a number of plants are finishing up.

There are still things going on that prevent me from getting into the garden to work, but I have found time to take photos or even take our granddaughter, who I am providing childcare for outside to observe the insect activity and blooms.  A Facebook friend sweetly pointed out that observing and enjoying what you see is also gardening.  Next week, I should be able to get more accomplished.  I am thankful for the rain we've been having.  Like I seem to say each time, too, I hope to spend a little less time on FB and get more blogs visited.  I can't believe it is almost September!  I hope all is well with you.

Monday, August 18, 2014

From the Front Porch, August 15, 2014

I looked to see what things looked like in July, when I did a post showing photos taken from the front porch.  There have been enough changes to do another post.   This post has been a few days in the making.

The Butterfly bush is now blooming, smaller than the last few years, because I kept cutting it back so it doesn't take up so much space.

Rattlesnake master looks good all season.  This is the second season for the Sweet black-eyed susans.  The pollinators and I sure like them.  The Hibiscus is kind of out of place now, but I let it do its thing, and have seen some insects on the blooms.

I love where the Kiss me over the garden gate plants seeded this year.  They sure are tall, too!

The Joe pye weed is one of the favorites of the bees and butterflies, as are the Liatris ligulistylis, which you can see in the background here.  This Joe pye is 'Gateway'.

I trimmed back the lower stems of the Joe pye weed, so they will be blooming a little later than the upper ones.

Next, come Wild quinine, Mountain mint, Allium, Liatris, and Meadow rue.

These are the same plants as above, with some volunteer Stiff goldenrod, not blooming yet, and Coneflowers.

Oh, there are also seedheads of Golden alexanders.

I sure included some repeats!  In this one, you can also see a bit of yellow from a Mexican hat plant and the leaves of the cup plant.  Birds have been eating the seeds of the Coneflowers.  It's fun to come out and see them before they fly off.

The Purple prairie clover is finished blooming.  I'll keep the cage around it because the rabbits have been doing lots of munching, and this is one of their favorites.

We'll cross the sidewalk to the west side of the front yard.

I'm thinking the grass here is Sideoats grama.  The white is Wild quinine.

Whorled milkweed is one of my favorites.  This is a Switchgrass cultivar.

This Liatris is later opening than the others.

The Cup plant sure is tall.  I love it!  Illinois bundleflower is in front of the porch, with the yellow blooms of Gray-headed coneflowers on the other side.

I love the seed pods of Illinois bundleflowers.  The blooms are in the next photo.

Back to the Cup plant, the pollinators are loving it as much as the Joe pye weed.

There are two or three Monarchs that have been flying around the yard, nectaring mostly on the Liatrises, Joe pye weed, and the Cup plant.

I keep forgetting the names of the bees, but I'm pleased there are a number of different kinds.  These lovely blooms are Sweet black-eyed susans.  This is their second season here.

That may be Stiff goldenrod almost ready to bloom in the background.

I am sad that the Wild sennas are finished blooming.

I had a number of seedlings come up this spring that I was able to share.  I hope there will be some next spring as well.

The Prairie dock is blooming this year.  The blooms look a lot like Cup plant blooms.

We've been continuing to the west.  The grass is another cultivar of Switchgrass.  The strawberries have done pretty well in this spot.

I am glad the Joe pye weed that I was able to divide from the original clump is doing OK in this dryer area next to a sidewalk.  I didn't get the Beauty berry plants cut back this year.  The yellow blooms are Helen's flower.

I forgot what kind of Helen's flowers these reddish ones are.

The Rudbeckia laciniata hortensia plants have needed to be deadheaded and tied up so they won't flop over as much.

I hope you have been enjoying the views from your porches, too!  Enjoy what's left of summer.