Saturday, September 25, 2010

Some Old, Some New Critters from this Week, and ID Help Requested

I'm still seeing lots of skippers and bees.  I also have a few different critters I haven't posted before for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn.  I see she has welcomed fall.  I am not ready to do that yet, but am reluctantly acknowledging its presence.

Last Friday, the kids and grandson were over.  When our son is over, he likes to look under stones and things to see if he can see any snakes or insects.  Now, he can share this interest with his son.

I'm not sure what this is.  They also found a grub, or whatever they're called.  The photo was not focused, so I didn't include it.

I'm not sure what this is, either.

I'm continuing to see more doves than usual on the wires.  There was a day I counted 15.

On Monday, the 20th, I stayed home from work because I had had a headache for a few days, and it was worse in the night.  I was able to get an appointment with my chiropractor for 10:30 a.m.  Heidi and I took a yard walk before I left.  I got a photo of the monarch on the butterfly bush, then noticed a hummingbird on the nearby butterfly bush.  When I got back out from getting my camera, it was gone.

(Don't read the next lines if you don't like gross things.) In that short yard walk, I unknowingly stepped on a dog's pile.  When I got in the car, which was in the garage, I wondered what that smell was.  I didn't know if it was something in the garage, or what.  When I was driving, I didn't notice it until I was almost to the chiropractor.  As I was pulling into the parking place, I looked at my shoes, and had to take them off and walk into the office in my stocking feet.  It was embarrassing, but no one was in there besides the doctor and his secretary, and they are nice people, who laughed when I told them what happened.)

Larry mowed the yard after supper, and didn't remember to latch the back yard gate.  Heidi checks to see if we forgot, and lifts the latch up with her nose to get out of the yard.  I noticed the movement of a neighbor lady outside the window around 6:30, and went to the door, where she stood with Heidi.  She had seen her out, and called her.  She said Heidi came up to her, and when they were at the door, Heidi looked at her, and rubbed her head against her.

The neighbor and I started visiting, then another lady came over, and we enjoyed some rare neighbor time on our benches out front.  All of a sudden, I saw a hummingbird on the agastache, and told them I'd be right back.  I sat and took a bunch of photos from the bench so as not to scare it away.  It moved so fast, and it was starting to get dark, so none of the photos turned out so clear.  Still, I was excited to see it, and wanted to include a few anyway.

On September 21 I don't remember what I was doing, but I got a skipper on the butterfly bush and two photos of a monarch and bee feeding next to each other on the blue mist spirea.

 Friday was a beautiful day after having a few rainy days.  I went out and took lots of critter photos before enjoying some time in the veggie garden, where I was pleased to get my garlic planted from some nice sized bulbs I harvested earlier in the season.  I also transplanted some self sown seedlings that had come up in clumps.  I also dug around in the compost pile.  The next door neighbor boy informed me that they've seen mice in my compost pile, and they are starting to get into the houses in the neighborhood.  Another neighbor and I have seen a few mice out and about, too, but I didn't see any around the compost pile yesterday.

I started my picture taking from the back yard for a change.  I just looked up the sulphur I posted most recently to see if I'd put what kind I thought it was, and I hadn't, but when I compared it to this one, it had different markings.  From looking at my butterfly book, I think this is either a Clouded or Orange Sulphur on one of the asters by the shed.  In another book, I saw an alfalfa butterfly that looks like this, too.

There were lots of insects sharing the aster blooms.  A skipper, Gray Hairstreak, and a bee or hover fly are in this photo.

I was tickled to get a photo of the open wings of the gray hairstreak, even though it was washed out by the sun.  There is a honey bee next to it.

I'm not sure what kind of bee this is.  It may be a honey bee, but the coloring looks different than the previous one.

Out in the veggie garden, the verbena bonariensis plants were loaded with skippers, a few other kinds of butterflies, bees, and flies.

The Painted Lady was shy, but I got a couple photos of it.

There were a number of silver spotted skippers.  There must have been both male and females, because they didn't all look exactly the same as each other.

The top side of the wings on this one are more colorful than the on the one I was able to get a picture of last week.

Skippers are difficult to identify.  Randy has let me know what kind some are before, but I can't remember which one, and what he said it was.  I wonder how many kinds of skippers are in my area. 

I think this is a different kind than the one above.

Here's another silver spotted skipper enjoying the boltonia, which I love, but the bloom time is shorter than a lot of perennials.   There were lots of other small insects in there, too.

Does anyone know what kind of moth this is?  I wonder what its caterpillars eat.  It is a moth, isn't it?  It's new to me.

I like the details on the Eupatorium, 'Prairie Jewel', a relative of Joe Pye weed with the fly on it.

I think this is a hover fly also enjoying the eupatorium  There is a white blooming cypress vine weaving around and through in the tall plants in this bed.  It is visible on the left side of this photo.

I went a little wild taking photos of what insects were on what blooms.  Here's another silver spotted skipper on an annual salvia.

I'm thinking this aster was one of the volunteers in the side bed near the back yard.  I've mentioned there are a lot of skippers this year...

and bees, living in harmony with all the other insects in the yard, as far as I can tell.

These asters are in the area on the east side of the house.  I guess they know it's September, because they have decided to open those precious buds they like to hold onto until the right time.

Just as I was about to go in, I noticed a moth I don't recall seeing before.  It reminded me of a humming bird moth the way the wings were moving, and it was hard to get a photo of because of that.  It was about the size of the blooms.

I included this photo, because the upper wing is a little better focused.  Do you know what it is?

Randy, was I supposed to put the watermelon rind for the butterflies up high somewhere?  I put this on a stone in the side bed where we could see it out the garden window.  I haven't seen any butterflies on it yet, but look what did find it!  I've never seen this kind of ant inside, have any of you?  (I just went and looked at Randy's post, and it looked like the rind was on some mulch on the ground.)

I love the colors of the hover flies and the asters.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


  1. Wow! Such an exciting array of wildlife. I love that bee shot with its cool stripes. You must be very fast with that camera...most of my insect shots are blurs.
    You have a great, nature-focused garden. :-)
    David & Melanie/ Tropical Texana/ Houston
    where it is STILL 90 degrees!!! ugh!

  2. Love them all! Gorgeous!

  3. This is migration time for the butterfly, many can be seen all around. Nice captures of them.

  4. Dear Sue, Some excellent critter pictures here. I love the monarch, of course, and the hummingbird is so sweet.

    Thank you for visiting my blog. You asked how the frogs found my new pond. My husband brought one that someone gave him, but we have no idea where the others came from.

    Have a great weekend! Pam x

  5. Sue, You have done a beautiful job of capturing both your flowers and the wildlife! Going to make cards and/or frame some of them? :-)

  6. I like the photo of the ants on the watermelon.

    You sure have a ton of butterflies! Wow!

  7. Lovely photos as always Sue. Your asters are just beautiful, and the critters seem to love them too. I'm going to have to get some! I saw a Monarch in our garden today, so exciting to see, it's been ages since I saw one.

  8. Sue ~ Your pictures are all great and what a variety of flowers and critters. I am really impressed. You always have so much going on there.


  9. Sue, your garden must be a haven for the bees and butterflies--what a beautiful array of them! I can't identify any of your moths, but the gold and brown one on your aster is all around here, too; I wish I knew what it was.

    So glad the neighbor found and returned Heidi. Heidi would have a great time exploring with Sophie:)

  10. Wow great critter shots Sue! I envy those Hummingbird pics you captured. :)

  11. Ah! so those are skippers. I noticed some small butterflys on the Sedum, but did not know what they were. Thanks for your photos, now I do.

  12. Love the blue asters and all the pretty insects that they attracted. It is really cool that you caught that shot of the hummingbird.. Fantastic!

    I have never seen more than three doves gathered in one place at a time, I would love to witness that.. doves are one of my favorite birds.

    I also like the photo of your son and grandson looking under the rocks.. It is so sweet and sentimental.

    Have a wonderful day!

  13. Fabulous collection of photos, Sue. I'm no good at identifying insects other than half a dozen butterflies and bees. Plants on the other hand...

  14. I love that photo of your son (and grand) looking under the rock. It's precious!

  15. strong color contrasts- is that a holdover from when your son was young? looking under things- I surely do love blues in a garden!!

  16. Great critter shots! Your asters look absolutely stunning...they must be a real show-stopper! I'm sort of the same with hummingbird pics, they are so hard to get a good shot of, but it's exciting, nonetheless.

  17. Lots of blooms still and many critters flying about. Lovely post.

  18. You always get some great critter shots!

  19. I share your feelings about fall. It's a beautiful season, but I have trouble accepting that it's here because the cold weather follows so soon after. I'm all for continuous summer!
    Your butterfly pictures are beautiful. Love the painted lady shots on the v. bonariensis. Lots of color still in your garden. I'm loving the wild asters. They're so pretty this year..blooming in great profusion around our farm.
    Isn't it exciting to see a stray hummingbird at this time of year? I haven't seen one since last week. Your shots are lovely with the seed pods and wispy Agastache.
    Enjoy these last mild days! We have much needed rain here today (and yesterday).

  20. Sue, Your garden is a critter haven! Love the skippers, they are such fun flitters. I am waiting for the monarchs to show up! gil

  21. Dear Sue,
    Your Asters are beautiful. With all those blooms, it is no surprise you have so many critters still flitting about gathering as much nectar as they can before Fall comes--or until you admit it has come. ;-)

    I am sorry to hear you have been suffering with headaches. I do hope the Chiropractor was able to help give you some relief.

  22. Sue this was an exciting post seeing all the butterflies and hummers and beautiful flowers!In viewing this post I realize how much I missed blogging while absent last month!
    I have been fast tracking in my personal life and have had little time for photo shoots..your post has inspired me to book a date with myself in my day planner for quiet walks just to observe and take photos ...Thank you for this.
    BTW my New home is by a "Lake" Beach...
    Lake Huron in Grand Bend Canada..cannot wait!
    Continue doing such inspring posts!

  23. I understand about the dog pile. There are alot of dogs in my neighborhood, so when I go out anywhere walking, my head is constantly down.

    People may think I lost something or maybe that I'm shy.

    But it's okay. I must be aware of where my feet are going at all times.

  24. Love all your flowers!!!!!!!!!And all the creatures that they attract.
    I love to plant different flowers too. Antique Rose


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