Saturday, October 9, 2010

Insect Magnet

I was going to post about the part of the side yard that is to the east of the back yard for Camera Critters, hosted by Misty Dawn, but when I went outside to see if there were more critters to take photos of, I saw so many on a couple plants, that I decided to do the east bed in a different post.

I think the purple flowers in the back of this bed, on either side of the sidewalk are English Asters.  The birds must have planted them in a different area of the yard a number of years ago, from seeds of a neighbor's plants.  I moved these to here around 8 years ago.

Even though I tied the stems together, the plants have flopped over.  (Added 10/9:  I forgot to mention I also cut them back a couple or three times during the season, too.)

For the past few years, the stems have been turning brown, which I'm thinking is a disease I read about awhile back.  I was planning on digging the plants up this spring, but Larry wanted me to keep them there because he likes them.  So, I dug out over half of each clump, hoping the plants would stay healthy.  This is the clump on the west side of the sidewalk.  The stems aren't as brown as in the past, but they are not very healthy looking.

Can you see monarch on the clump on the east side?  (Actually, there was another on the west clump while I was taking photos, but it didn't make the post.)

I am currently undecided about the fate of these two asters.  There were bees, flies, at least 8 skippers and a number of other insects enjoying the nectar.  Maybe it's worth the problems to be able to host so many insects, which share so nicely with each other.

I'm not sure how many kinds of skippers we have here.

I haven't seen as many painted ladies this summer, but am glad there are some here.  (Added 10/9- Randy told me this is an American Lady.  I went back and checked a couple recent posts, and saw that they were Painted Ladies, so that means we have both in our area.  Cool!  American Ladies have 2 large eye spots on the outside wings.  Painted Ladies have 4 small eye spots.)

The bees didn't seem to mind me getting close.  It looks like I left out the photo of the larger bee.

The above photos were all taken Friday.  The next couple were taken a few days ago.

I hadn't seen any rabbits for awhile, but here one has been eating kale or something in the veggie garden.  I just told Larry I want us to put the rabbit fencing that I got at garage sales this summer up before spring gets here.  I am determined to keep the rabbits out next spring.  I'll have to plant some lettuce for them across the street in hopes they don't eat the flowers as much as they did this year.

I'm still seeing the squirrels around.  This one was scolding me for being in "its yard".

The doves are continuing to spend lots of time on the wires, and I've seen a lot flocks of birds flying overhead.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Sue, the aster looks like one of the native asters we have here. I bought one a couple of years ago at the Master Gardeners' Sale. It grew very tall and looked dead along the stems too. I think that is just their nature. I don't think mine bloomed this year. I just planted things around it to hold it up and hide the brown stems. I think pinching it early in the season a few times like mums would help too.

    These are spectacular pictures....I would keep the aster. I love the blue color and so do the critters.

    The Blog looks very pretty in the fall colors. I appreciate the larger print!

  2. I would love to be able to grow those English Asters. They are so pretty and look at all of the critters that enjoy them too. You took some great photos Sue.

    Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

  3. The asters are a native plant, do you clean them out in the spring or fall?Never had them in my yard but they are the main color on the prairie.

  4. Sue,

    That is a REALLY nice Monarch photo! Keep the asters, maybe move them to where flopping over wouldn't not be so much of a problem. Your lady is an American Lady, not a Painted Lady.

  5. What wonderful shots - those butterflies are lovely!

  6. I like how you pictured the different animals around your garden. :) Great job!

  7. Super collection of critters. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Kay, Alberta

  8. What great pictures!

    Nubbin wiggles,

  9. Love the asters and the rabbit. And the squirrel!

  10. Asters look pretty good to me.
    Nice shots of your critters.
    I know what you mean about some things that look just want to yank them out right away.

  11. I love the asters, they add some color to fall time. You have some wonderful critters. I lvoe the bunny and the butterfly shots are awesome.

  12. Gorgeous! You have a lovely garden

    Hope you can visit my camera critter post too. Have a safe weekend!

  13. I like your fall look here!

    Asters really do attract the critters. Beautiful pics!

  14. You took some great photos of the butterflies on your asters. Beautiful!
    I have the same asters I think. I had to move them away from the patio to a space by the fence because they flop like that even in years when I cut them back. I think they're great to support the little bees and such in the fall so I plan to keep them but found a place where they wouldn't be annoying. :-)

  15. I LOVE that squirrel. He's cute :) I am from Australia and have never seen a squirrel before. We have pesky possums instead.
    From Alissa@Craftalicious-Caper

  16. That's a cute bunny. Too bad they eat everything in sight!

  17. Hello,
    The butterfly is so beautiful.

  18. That's a lot of critters, Sue. Great pictures!

  19. All of these photos are wonderful, Sue. I just love butterflies so much and will never tire of looking at pictures of them!

  20. Beautiful photos of the Monarch, Sue! I haven't seen any around here in a week or two, so I assume they have all migrated south. Thanks for the id on the skippers--we do have lots of those right now, but I wasn't sure what they were. Also, thanks for the tip on the difference between the Painted Ladies and the American Ladies. I've learned so much from blogging!

    The asters are such bee and insect magnets that I think they're worth keeping even if they are a little floppy:)

  21. I'm amazed at the sheer # of plants you have! I started a couple of small aster plants this fall. I'm hoping they survive the winter and put on a good show next year. I've thoroughly enjoyed watching your corner mature throughout this summer.


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