Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September's Wildflower Wednesday

I've enjoyed seeing more and more butterflies, bees, and other pollinators the past couple of weeks.  I'm sad that a number of flowers are finished blooming, but am pleased to see the asters, pitcher sage, and some of the goldenrods blooming to showcase for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday.

The New England asters have self sown around the yard, and the pollinators have found them.  Even though I cut them back this spring, the stems got a disease on them.  Still, they are loaded with blooms, and pollinators.  This particular clump had the most sulphurs, skippers, various kinds of bees, monarchs, and painted ladies on it.

The most monarchs I have seen in a day this season was seven.  In the past, there have been more.  I hope next year is better.

How many hoverflies and bees do you see?

There have been a number of painted lady butterflies around, and now there are also some American ladies.  I can tell this is one because of the two large eyespots.  I see pussytoes is a host plant.  I am pleased to have some of that for them.

There have been several kinds of sulphurs.  I enjoy seeing bees and butterflies feeding peacefully near each other.

I was thinking this was a duskywing of some kind, but Cynthia, Gaia Gardener suggested it may be checkered skipper.  How cool!  I've never heard of that.  I looked it up, and think she is right.

The goldenrod, 'Wichita Mountains' also draws a number of butterflies and bees.  I just looked it up, and read that the blooms and leaves are edible.  Have you ever tried it?

I am pretty sure the bluish and orange butterfly is a gray hairstreak.

This was taken at a different time of the day when the area was shaded.

Pitcher sage is another one that self sows around the yard, and I love the blue blooms.  They usually have a butterfly or more on the blooms.  I cut most of the plants back late spring so they will be bushier and a bit shorter.

I have seen more silver spotted skippers this year than any other I can remember.

This has more spots than the American lady.  This is a painted lady.  I think there have been more of these than other seasons, too.

I just got a big leaf aster plant a couple years ago, and am enjoying the blooms.  It is spreading around a bit, and does not seem to be as appealing to the rabbits to eat as some of the other asters.  I looked at my last couple of posts, and saw that I'd already included this in one.  I didn't remember it had been blooming that long.  That's good to know, since there are some that do not have a long bloom time.

It is a host plant for several caterpilllars. Do you know what kind this is?

It has been a hot summer and fall.  I am glad the highs this week are going to be in the 70s, instead of the 90s like they were last week.  I am almost ready for winter to be here, so we can start over with spring, and hope for milder weather.