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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Butterflies and Bees

One of my favorite pastimes is watching the bees and butterflies enjoying the bounty of our island beds.  This year seems to be shaping up to be a good year for them.

This lovely pink flower is much beloved by the pollinators of all types that visit our garden.  But I have no idea what it is!! 

In fact, at it's base, I have a sign which states "I don't remember planting this"!  The very fact that it has taken hold and is thriving so well leads me to believe that it is, in fact, a weed.

If anyone knows what it is, I would really appreciate if you could let me know in the comments.   here's another photo, showing the forming seed heads.

The bumblebees also love the Salvia Greggi., there are usually at least five of them bumbling from bloom to bloom at any given time.  They make me smile.

Another visitor this week has been this Black Swallowtail on the Dallas Red Lantana (at least I think think it's a Black Swallowtail).  I haven't had much luck getting a good photo of it's wings to ID it with.  I tried again earlier today with no luck at all!

I have better luck taking photos of Gulf Fritillaries.  They seem to like landing on blooms to eat, rather than fluttering around like the Swallowtails do.  Makes the photos much easier.  Here's one on the Violet Queen zinnia. 

Here's another one enjoying the Profusion zinnia.  You can also see the sign I mentioned earlier in the post.

I'm also seeing Monarch butterflies in the garden. This looks like a female, so it's not one of the ones I released a couple of days ago from my Monarch Nursery, which were both male.  

Speaking of the Monarch Nursery, I still have 4 chrysalides in the enclosure in the bathroom.  Here's a photo of some of the caterpillars before they changed.

And here's one who has left the milkweed and climbed to the top of the enclosure to make his chrysalis.  

I'll probably get a lot more caterpillars and chrysalides later in the year, as the Monarchs prepare for their migration.  Last year I had a total of 30.  I'll see if I can match that this year :-)  Wish me luck!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Dorothy Borders said...

Rather than a weed, I would call your mystery plant a wildflower and welcome it since bees and butterflies like it. I don't know its name either, although it looks like something from the aster family and the seed heads bear some resemblance to coneflowers.

K Dawson said...

Looks like Monarda fistulosa to me?

Jayne said...

Thank you K Dawson! I believe you are correct. I just did a Google search and the photos look identical to my plant. No wonder the bees and butterflies love it! "Monarda fistulosa, the wild bergamot or bee balm, is a wildflower in the mint family widespread and abundant as a native plant in much of North America." I have no idea how it found it's way to my garden, but I'm glad it did.

Denise inVA said...

Wonderful post Jayne and a super variety. A very inviting paradise for all your little visitors.

K Dawson said...

You're welcome! I have a hot pink hybrid one in my garden, I wish it would bloom more.

Pam's English Garden said...

You have created a wonderful wildlife habitat, Jayne. I am happy to say the monarchs returned to my garden early this year and are laying eggs on the milkweed. Joy! P. x

Rebecca said...

I'm tickled that you have your caterpillar enclosure in your bathroom. It sounds similar to the things that happen around my house!

Jayne said...

I'm glad to hear you have Monarchs laying eggs in your garden too, Pam.

Jayne said...

Sometimes you just do what you have to do Rebecca. Am I right? lol!

Kathleen Scott said...

Yup, bee balm. We saw a wonderful garden on the Austin Pond Tour with a huge bed of bee balm. You could hear the buzzing before you could see the bed. And hummingbirds hovered there too.

Lovely, Jayne. I remember when you first started planting. Makes me happy to see how much habitat you've created.

Rock rose said...

I share your joy of watching the birds bees and butterflies in the garden. You are certainly doing a wonderful service to our wildlife.