Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August 2015 Wildflower Wednesday

I am relieved I am getting my Wildflower Wednesday post up before the day is over.  Gail, from Clay and Limestone hosts it the 4th Wednesday of the month.  Go check out other posts!  I hope to make it to all of them.  I still am spending too much time on Facebook, and not keeping up with blogging.

There sure is a lot of yellow in our yard right now.  The pollinators sure aren't complaining!  The meadow rue and cup plant are the tallest in the yard.  You probably wouldn't find them growing together in nature, though, because the meadow rue likes it more moist than the cup plant.  They do fine in the yard, where I sometimes do some spot watering.  This area does not have a sprinkler head in it, so gets less than the rest of the yard in seasons with less rain than we had this year.  We've only run the sprinkler a handful of times, during a hotter, dryer spell.

The cup plant blooms have been visited by lots of bees and a few butterflies. It's hard for me to get photos in good focus that far up.  This one was OK enough to post.  I always like it when more than one butterfly can be in a photo.

The coneflower seeds are being eaten by goldfinches.  The sweet black-eyed susans and native Helen's flower have been having lots of insect activity.

I am glad I found two small Helenium autumnale plants a couple years ago. They are now one large clump.

I believe Heather Holm has told me before that the bee on the left is a long-horned bee, and I forgot.  I asked for help again, and think I am going to remember this time.  I am so tickled that there are a whole bunch of them enjoying the blooms this year, mostly the Helen's flower and sweet black-eyed susans.  Here's a link to an article I found online that she wrote:

From what Heather said in her book, Pollinators of Native Plants, I can tell that this one is a male, because it has the long antennae.  The females do not.

The females have the long pollen collecting hairs that look like saddle bags full of pollen.  I have not seen many males, but have seen a lot of females.  They have solitary nests in the ground.  There is a lot of open ground across the street where my gardening attempts do not go well due to the walnut tree and rabbits.

We have two sizes of bumblebees that frequent the blooms.  This looks to be the larger size.

I am not sure what this little flying thing is, but it is less than 1/4 an inch long.  There are a lot of tiny flyers on the blooms this year, too.

It's good that there are some blooms that are not yellow.  The Liatris ligulistylus has been a favorite of the monarchs.  Other butterflies and bees also frequent it.  They feed on the other liatrises, such as aspera, and now that those are opening, they may be found on them just as often.

Here's a painted lady on the same liatris.

Here's another long-horned bee on some ironweed.  I have a couple kinds scattered around the yard.  It's a nice relief from all of the yellow.

Here's the view going into the area where the tree used to be.  We see sweet black-eyed susan, ironweed, a switchgrass cultivar, wild quinine, and Illinois bundleflower.  Wild quinine has those white blooms early in the season, and has probably the longest bloom time of any in my garden.  The insects, including monarchs, are still visiting them.

This is the plant I lost count at 12 of the long-horned bees on yesterday, and then saw at least that many more, but they got mixed up with the ones I'd already counted.

The goldenrod beetles are here.  I guess I am resigning myself to the fact that the days are getting shorter, and fall is on its way.

This photo was taken a few days ago, showing that the monarchs are also enjoying these blooms.  By the way, this plant is native to areas near my SE Nebraksa home, but not here.  It sure does well, though.

I see I should have straightened this photo before posting it.  Don't get dizzy!  Our yard was featured last week on a Pure Nebraska segment.  Here's a link to it:

I am hoping this posts OK.  I got a message from Google saying my blog storage was full, and I need to buy more or some of my photos will get deleted.  It stated I was on a free plan, but I am not.  We pay $2.00 a month.  Have any of you had problems like that?  My husband emailed them, but we have not heard back.  He checked, and the money is still being paid.