Wednesday, August 28, 2019

August Wildflower Wednesday

It is time for Gail at Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday.  I have two kinds of native plants to share photos of this time.  I am sad that I am not finding my usual Comic Sans font to use.

Tall thistle is a native one that is not considered noxious like some are.  It is one of those plants that has bees and butterflies on it all day long when it is in bloom.  Here is some information on the plant:

There have been some monarchs on the blooms each day.

There have been eastern tiger swallowtails, which I haven't gotten a photo of, and different black swallowtails of some kind.  I tried to figure out what kind this is, but can't tell. It doesn't have the white spots on its body some in the photos do.  The bumble bee is different than most we see here.  

There have been different kinds of skippers.

I have been seeing quite a few of these bees on the blooms each day, and it is fun to watch them.  Someone on Facebook let me know these are thistle longhorned bees.  They are smaller than bumblebees. I had just come across an article that talked about insects that specialize on specific native plants, so it is good to plant a number of different kinds to provide for them.  I am tickled that these bees have found the tall thistles here!

I am not sure what kind of bumble bee this is.

Here is a different kind of skipper than the one in a previous photo.

Helenium autumnale plants have been blooming for a few days.  I normally cut them and a few other plants back in the spring to keep them bushy and not get too tall and lanky.  I experimented with not doing that this year, and have been tying lots of flopping plants up.  The insects do not seem to care one way or the other!  Here is some information on them:  I didn't remember that they prefer a moist area.  Mine get a bit of watering from our lawn sprinkler, but the area does not stay moist at all times. 

The bumble bee on the left is the kind we usually see.  There are two sized kinds that look like this.  I am not remembering what the bee on the right is.

I hope your wildflowers are doing well and attracting those pollinators!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mountain Mints

There are several kinds of mountain mints, and I seem to have a collection of a number of them.  It has been amazing to go out and see what all insects are feeding from the blooms all day long! 

The first four photos are narrowleaf mountain mint.  It isn't getting as many visitors as the others, but maybe it is because the area is more shaded.

The next four are the mountain mint next to the front walk that probably gets the most pollinators on it.  I asked our five year old granddaughter to come see all of the different insects on these blooms today, and explained that if she doesn't try to touch them, she can watch them, and they won't sting her.  She asked if she could talk to them, and she said something very sweet to them.  I told her they didn't know what she was saying, though.  Then we went to other parts of the yard to see the bees, butterflies and such.

The rest of these are short-toothed mountain mint.

I have a couple more kinds, but didn't get photos of them into the post. I hope to do another post showing those.

Cleome Serrulata, Wildflower Wednesday

Cleome serrulata is a native self sowing annual.  I was tickled to get some seeds at a plant/seed share, I think, last season. It is the first year I have had them in front of our picture window, anyway.    Planted in the fall, they come up in the spring. I am posting to participate in Gail's at Clay and Limestone Wildflower Wednesday.

Of all the plants in the yard, this plant, also called Rocky Mountain beeplant has had the longest bloom time, and has attracted about as many pollinators as the different kinds of mountain mints. It has been fun seeing lots of American ladies earlier in the season, and now, painted ladies on the blooms

I am signed up for a class on bee identification in August.  I hope to be able to remember the names of the bees on the blooms in the yard.  It is fun seeing a number of different kinds here.

I am not remembering what this yellow creature is.  I always like to see different kinds of insects feeding near each other.  They seem to be better at sharing than we are sometimes.

I am thinking these are a sweat bee of some kind.  It is fun to watch them balancing like this.

 The Lady Bird Johnson site says they get 3 to 6 feet tall.  These are at least 4 feet tall.  They do well in dry soil, and sun to part sun. In addition to providing for bees and butterflies, doves and other small birds eat the seeds.