Saturday, September 4, 2010

Skippers, Gray Hairstreaks, their Friends, and Flowers they Like

I haven't posted since last Saturday.  I haven't been outside as much as I like this week, but was able to take a lot of critter photos to post for Misty Dawn's Camera Critters.  The link is in my sidebar.

This must be a chrysalis on the vegetable garden fence.  I wonder what kind.

Here's a closer view of it.

I was surprised to see this swallowtail caterpillar on the mostly dry dill.  I hope it had enough to eat.

I think this is a male cabbage white.  My book says the females have 2 spots.

I saw a small bee going in and out of this hole.  It moved too fast for me to get a photo.  I wonder if it was a mason bee.  I've been wanting to get a mason bee house, but haven't done it.   This is in the vegetable garden, too.

Here are a bee and a nasty beetle sharing a hollyhock bloom.

I've been hearing birds, and seeing them high in the sky more than up close.  I have seen some cardinals when I don't have the camera out, and the blue jays and sparrows are still around.  The doves spend a lot of time on the wires above the street.  I haven't seen as many robins.  Also, I am sad, because I have not seen my friend, the robin with the damage on its breast ever since the day I saw a couple neighbor kids trying to catch a bird across the street.  I saw the boy the other day and asked if it was a robin, but he said he didn't know.  I don't think he wanted to talk about it, because I had chased them away, telling them to leave it alone.  Maybe it was old and ready to die.  I miss it.

A couple silver spotted silvers have found the lantana on the deck.  I just was able to get a photo of one of them.

A monarch came to have a taste while I was photographing, but didn't stay around long.

The next photos were taken today.   A few days ago, I counted 14 gray hairstreaks on the garlic chives, along with a number of bees and small insects I am not familiar with.  I didn't make it out to get photos that day, but a few insects finally came to the chives today, after the sun made its way to the area.  I love garlic chives and their blooms, but only grow them in pots, because they are invasive and don't stay out even when dug out.  They also reseed aggressively, so I deadhead them before the seedheads ripen, but still put them in the garbage, and not on the compost pile.

I like the details in this photo, so included it, too.

There were also a couple bees, and those small insects I'm not familiar with along with the soldier beetle and fly on the garlic chives.

Here's the brown butterfly that I couldn't get a clear shot of awhile back.  It does not stay in one spot long enough to focus on it.  This was an accidental focus.  I checked back, and Randy E. thought it may be a Horace Duskywing.  When I looked at that photo, I couldn't see the white on the end of the wings, like this one has.  This one looks like the Funereal Duskywing in my book, but we would be at the north fringe of where they are found.

I counted 15 skippers on the verbena "on a stick" in the vegetable garden.

The eupatorium 'Prairie Jewel' is just starting to open its buds.  This is a great late summer blooming plant insects like.  I sure have lots of gray hairstreaks this year!

The white blooming cypress vine sure is growing through other plants.  I have found that wasps like white blooming plants.  Those are boltonia blooms in the background.  They are covering up the Virginia mountain mint that I moved to that bed this spring.  It was blooming last I checked.  I'll have to see about uncovering it.  I like the legs of this wasp.

As always, there were a number of bees enjoying the veronica, 'Sunny Border Blue' along with the ailanthus moth.

The short toothed mountain mint had quite a crowd enjoying it today.  I'm not sure what the moths are with the soldier beetles.  There were also bees, and I'm thinking a wasp or two on the blooms.

A monarch landed on the butterfly bush just as I was going to see if any butterflies were on it.

The liatris 'Punctata' just started blooming a day or two ago, and I see a bee has found it.

I was able to get a nice variety of insects on the rough goldenrod.  Look how nicely they share!  I was even able to get close enough to use my macro setting.  One of these bees, the lower one, did fly up toward me and then back to the flower to let me know I was getting too close.  I showed respect by going to a different bloom, and not sticking around much longer.

Well, I ended up not seeing as many swallowtails as usual this summer, but this sure has been the year of gray hairstreaks, monarchs, painted ladies, bees and wasps as always, and soldier bugs galore!  I guess they eat insects as well as nectar.  I hope they aren't eating the caterpillars.

I'm not finished visiting the blogs of those who left comments last week.  It was cool having so many.   Thanks to those who helped identify some of the critters.


  1. WOW! What a wonderful grouping of photographs of flying critters, flowers and foliage. Amazing how many different kinds you have there.


  2. Sue,

    I think your top photo might be a mantis egg casing, it looks like our Carolina Mantis casing to the tee. That is a lot of Gray Hairstreaks, I have seen 50-100 in one area once in my life.

    The duskywing looks to be Funereal Duskywing, a good find! I think your skipper is a Fiery Skipper.

  3. You seem to get different butterflies up there than we do down here. I'm not familiar with most of the ones you posted. Very interesting! I love seeing your bug pics too -- again, some of them we just don't see down here. Love your critter posts.

  4. I love the butterfly shots! How in the world can you take their picture. By the time I grad my camera all the bugs have "bugged" off. ;0)

  5. A wonderful walk through your garden seeing all the flowers and the little critters! An intriguing experience! Especially loved the brown butterfly!

  6. What a lot you got.
    Didn't realize that insects dared nibble at your plants :-)
    I would have taken the first picture for a woodlouse. You reckon it is going to turn into something lovely. It's all in the way we look at things. You are probably right.

  7. Wow, what a selection of visitors !
    Don't you just love the Gray hairstreaks .
    It seems to be a good year for butterflies...don't know why though.

  8. First, I love the new header picture with your grandson. He is a cutie.

    You always have such good shots of the critters. That takes real skill. That goldenrod seems to be a favorite. I need to check mine; I think the heat got to it this year and it may not exist anymore.

  9. Your garden seems a true butterfly haven, Sue. I'm always amazed at the variety you have.

  10. You took some fantastic photos! It is great to see so many butterflies, bees, and other critters attracted to your garden. About the garlic chives - Sometimes I tend to pop stuff in my mouth right in the garden, and I especially like the taste of garlic chive flowers. But I caught myself after looking close. I realized there were many very tiny insects crawling over the flowers. Good thing I looked!

  11. What a lovely collection of insects. Surely your garden is lively & vibrant!

  12. I can't get over how many visitors you have in your garden. What a wonderful collection.

  13. Yup, that first pic is a mantis egg case. I've had seemingly thousands of soldier beetles at once. Insane. And the other day a mantis eating a decapitated skipper (posting this on my blog in a few days).

  14. what fun to find,identify and photograph all those insects! There is so much more to gardening than just planting flowers.

  15. What a delightful treat~To see so many neat flying critters here today~I love the little hairstreaks~I can never get them to sit quietly! Now I must fly away myslef~Sue, I have to say how much I like the mountain mint! gail

  16. I see your "chrysalis" is a preying mantis, how cool! I hope I see one in my garden too. You have so many great butterflies, just like I do this year. Don't you just love it?

  17. Hi Sue,
    What amazing photos you have! I'm also intrigued in the difference between what you see and what I do. I have never heard of several of your butterflies, or maybe I just haven't been lucky enough to come across them yet! You asked about the Monarchs hatching in the house. They do all the time. It takes them at least several hours, if not longer to be able to fly. I usually keep them inside until they start fanning their wings. If I have to go out, I put them in a protected place outside. I love to see them fly for the first beautiful. I have yet to see and photograph a roost. It's on my bucket list! :-) So glad you left a comment, thank you!

  18. Your pictures are beautiful... so many critters! What fun!

  19. Sue, I think your corner garden is a paradise for critters! I can't believe how many you have. I think my favorite is the Monarch on the butterfly bush. The only gray Hairstreaks I have seen are the ones in my hair! LOL! So cool about the egg casing is for preying mantis. I can only imagine how neat it would be to see them emerging.

  20. dousing with dishwashing detergent does it for me - stops the carnage- I have a plethera of butterflies right now- all the attractors in full bloomage..The little man is getting tall!!

  21. You have alot of butterflies in your garden, and I think that is so neat, but I was wondering, did you plant things in your garden on purpose to attract butterflies specifically, or did it just happen that way, that alot of butterflies are in your yard?

    Just curious, because I have heard to attract butterflies in your garden, you need certain types of flowers and/or plants.

  22. wow, LOTS of life in your garden!

  23. Thanks for all the comments and help with identifications.

    Over the years, when I have seen a plant I like, and notice it says on the tag that butterflies or hummingbirds like it, I have bought it. Now, I have more knowledge about what butterflies like, and plant things on purpose to have more butterflies. I am also learning more about what plants caterpillars feed on, and include those around and about.


I welcome comments and questions from anyone, including those who do it anonymously. Some people find my posts by doing searches, and I like hearing from them. I guess spammers won't even read this message, but I will delete spam as soon as I see it.