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Odes and Leps

Posted by jeanner SW Ohio - Z6 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 24, 08 at 23:52

I've been trying so hard to be good and get some work done in the garden and pond but the dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies keep distracting me! At first I refused to take my camera out and I was making some progress cleaning up the carnage from last years drought but then at a weak moment I brought the camera out and that was the end of any of my gardening endeavours. I've had a few new dragonflies this year including a new county record! And two new damselflies and my first zebra swallowtail - the butterfly weed that I started from seed three years ago is actually blooming this year so I guess it is was worth the wait.

Heres the best of my dragonfly pictures ...

Eastern Pondhawk

Widow Skimmer

Blue Dasher 1

Blue Dasher 2

Blue Dasher 3

My butterfly pictures have been disappointing this year ... anyone else have any to share?????


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I think..........................

you should take your camera out all the time. It doesn't bother us that your work isn't done. lol I enjoy seeing your beautiful close-ups of dragon flies, damsel flies and butterflys. Summer is waaaay to short not to enjoy nature the way most ponders do. I will visit your pics in the winter too to brighten my dreary ponding days. More, more, more I want more. Thanks for sharing.

Jenny


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Butterflies, flit and flutter much too fast for me. These are some of mine. Just can't get them to stay still long enough. Glenda

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Awesome photos ladies! Thanks


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Wowee, look at that lantana! What a great butterfly attractor - mine is just getting started and of course it's just an annual here and an expensive one at that. I recognize the tiger and zebra swallowtails, but the other two I'm not sure of. Is that a type of wood nymph in the third picture and a fritillary (and a florida size spider!) in the fourth picture ? Are there any birds that eat the berries of the lantana?

I do wish that I could get to the point where I just needed to do maintenance and have more time with the camera (without feeling guilty!) - the yard list is still soooo long (we still don't have a walkway to the front door or a way to get out the back door - it's a 12 foot drop to the ground!) and I keep coming up with more projects .... never enough time :^(


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Jeanner, I didn't even see the spider before. We do have lots of spiders, but that is a very small one. We have had some verrrrrry large ones in the barn. The Lantana grows like weeds here. Don't think any birds eat the seeds. And I don't know the different species of butterflies. You take such beautiful professional pictures that I hesitated to add mine. Glenda


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WOW! It's that time again - love all the photographs. I like both the close-ups and the habitat photos equally well. That Widow-skimmer looks like metal. Cool!


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 27, 08 at 10:35

Awesome pics, ladies!!! I'm drooling here! Wish I had more butterfly visitors in my yard. I've only seen the painted ladies and one or 2 glimpses of a tiger swallowtail...at least, I think that's what it was.

No sightings of dragons or damsels yet this year, either. I saw a couple itsy-bitsy baby praying mantises, though! They're so adorable! :D

My trailing Lantana (montevidensis) does well year to year, but I always struggle with the colorful hybrids. The butterflies and hummers LOVE those blooms!

Can't wait for more pics!!

Brenda


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Brenda - I would think Lantana would do well in your area. It likes heat, sun and well drained on the dry side soil.

I have one lantana in a large pot I usually grow tomatoes and it is taking off with blooms and I pinched it back when I first planted it so it's bushy now too. The hummers numbers have picked up. Lots of flowers blooming now with all the rain, heat and sunshine.


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 30, 08 at 8:58

I have a 'Radiation' hybrid that I planted last year, and it's slooooowly returning from the depths of hybernation. It gets the full on hot sun all day, and it hates it when I water it, so it gets none from me. :) I've seen others in the area already huge and blooming their hearts out. I have Lantana envy. :D

(CT, I tried to email you, but I must still have your old addy. Just wanted to let you know that I actually got some of the Centaurea seeds to grow! Mom has a plant that's been blooming like crazy; mine is much smaller but still healthy. She was able to start even more seeds, so we both have plenty to enjoy. Mom says the blooms are GORGEOUS! Thanks SO much for those seeds!!! :D)

Brenda


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Has any one tried to grow lantana from seed? I looked for seeds this winter but couldn't find any. Maybe I will try to save some this year and see what I can get to sprout.

Anyone know which sulfur this is? I think it's either clouded or orange ....

Heres a great spangled fritillary in prime condition ...

And a spicebush swallowtail ...


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Pikeco, I think I identified the second butterfly in the zebra swallowtail picture is a buckeye - I hope I get to see one someday. The last one is a gulf fritallary.


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 1, 08 at 9:54

Such beautiful pics, Jean!! Hey, the great spangled is just in time for the 4th! :D

I haven't tried Lantana from seed, but I've read they take a while to germinate - anywhere from 35-60 days. They prefer to be covered with soil (not surface sown) at about 68-77F. I hope you're successful! :)

Brenda


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He Brenda - glad you got them to grow and Mom's to bloom. They do self seed if given half a chance so Mom better watch it:-)

Jean - confusing sulpher- could be a cross between orange and clouded as they interbreed. It is very green for either, and almost looks like a southern dogface from the backside of the wings, but they are obviously different if you can see them before they land. Some orange and clouded sulphers are also pale. It is impossible to get a photo of them with the topside wings showing as they always close their wings up when they land.

All are very pretty and the GSF is a favorite of mine. BF's have picked up here as have the hummers.

I have Mockingbirds nesting across the street in a neighbor's pear tree. One interesting thing I've noted - every morning one of the adult mockers walks along my sidewalk, raising it's wings to make a shadow. The shadow scares up tiny insects or spiders and it gobbles them up. This bird works my whole sidewalk just about every morning when the dew is still on the grass. Did I already tell this story - I'm getting senile!


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Hmmm .... the lantana sounds like it might be a fun challenge. I always start my seeds inside starting in February so I think I will try next year.

I'm not good at the sulfurs - I can never seem to get a good enough look when they are flying. And the id's not that important to me to net them just for that.

Mockingbirds are such resourceful birds - what a great observation! I don't remember you saying anything about it before, but then I'm right with you on the senility!

Several days of clouds and rain so not much happening on the odes and leps but I did find this today between rain showers ...

A monarch in the making ..


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Love the Monarch larvae. They like to eat the leaves of the butterfly weed. See if you can find the chrysalis. They are such a beautiful green with little golden drops along the edge.


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This one is on a milkweed on the edge of a weedy area that I leave uncut for the birds and bugs. After the rain let up, I went back out and it is still in the same position as yesterday. I think it is a fourth instar and is in the process of molting, according to this website ....

http://www.wildscaping.com/butterflies/monarch_life_cycle.htm

it may take several days for the molt to complete and the larvae may not move during that time. Also the head looks like their description of a molting larvae.

I've never seen a crysalis before! I'm going to try and keep an eye on it but the area is big enough that it might be tough to find again once it is on the move. Or a predator could get it. I considered trying to raise it but prefer to leave it to nature.

I have a "green" milkweed that I grew from seeds many years ago but it has never bloomed! I do like the contrast of the large leaves to the other plants in the garden. It's not as invasive as the marsh milkweed although it does wander somewhat. It does well, just no blooms. I also bought a purple butterfly weed plant this year and I'm anxious to see what that does.


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 5, 08 at 8:28

What a beautiful pre-Monarch pic, Jean! I would give an eyetooth to have one of those in my yard. :D

Mom just gave me another big Lantana, since I was moaning about my poor little straggler. It must have gotten the hint, because the tiny plant has its first bloom of the season now. LOL We're both hoping her Centaurea reseeds (and mine, eventually), CT! Only weeds seem to reseed in my yard. :D

I started some yarrow from seed last year, and I have 2 plants blooming now. The Buddleja (butterfly bush) is blooming now, as well as Salvias galore, Agapanthus, snapdragons, columbine, Coreopsis, sweet alyssum, oregano, Penstemon, pincushion flower, Verbena...and waiting to bloom are a native butterfly weed, Aster, native buckwheat, Liatris, Lobelia, and Sedums galore....and STILL no butterflies! Picky little sons a' guns. :D

Brenda


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No rain at my house for awhile, so you can enjoy mine and ID them.

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These 2 seemed to be fluttering all over each other. Are butterflies like birds, in that the male is brighter colored than the female? They both look the same, but I was wondering if they were trying to mate, or maybe they just wanted the same flower for the nectar.

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This one reminds me of a childs game. "How many butterflies do you see?"

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That first one interests me and I think I ID'd it. I think it is a Dorantes Longtail which is found in South FL, South TX and along the edge of the Gulf of Mexico between FL and TX.

Second one is a sulphur (clouded or orange).

Lots of Zebra Swallowtails.

Palamedes Swallowtail.

Gulf Fritillary

Eastern Yellow Swallowtail

Thanks for the photos. A few I've not seen before.


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This is one that I forgot to include. It seems to only stay on the yellow Lantana so it is hard to see.

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I think that on is an Orange Sulpher and you got it from the top view of the wings open just before it landed! Way to go!


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Wow! I'm drooling over your butterfly variety.... and great shots, those sulphurs are really hard to get with their wings open like that. The Palamedes Swallowtail is one we don't get :^(

Brenda with all that blooming I can't believe you don't have some butterflies ... maybe you are missing the host plants????

I haven't seen any new butterflies the last few days - the giant, black, and pipevine swallowtailss haven't shown up this year. But this morning when I walked out to the pond, there was a clear-wing hummingbird moth on the veronica - it was rather chilly this morning and he was just hanging on.
Clearwing hummingbird - up close!

As it warmed up, he shook his wings and flew off. He returned to the veronica later for a snack but was moving much faster than this morning!

Clearwing hummingbird and little bee

I chased a little eastern tailed blue butterfly with the camera this morning. This little butterflies are about the size of my thumbnail and very quick! Not as blue as the azures - hopefully I'll capture one of those this year.
Eastern tailed blue

I had tons of honey bees on my St. John's Wart bushes today! They are just starting to bloom and the blooms were covered with honey and bumble bees. Then I noticed this bee on steroids (even bigger than the big bumble bees). It turns out it isn't a bee at all but a yellow-jacket hover fly - I had never seen one before.
Yellowjacket hoverfly

Needless to say I didn't get much done in the garden today either.


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 6, 08 at 10:48

OMG, what beautiful pics, ladies!! I'm so jealous of all your butterflies! I think my favorites of yours, Glenda, are the Dorantes and the zebra swallowtail. Your Lantanas are gorgeous!

Jean, that yellowjacket hoverfly is incredible! I LOVE the closeup of the clearwing with that fuzzy head just begging to be kissed. LOL The antennae (?) on that Eastern tailed blue are so detailed!

DH brought up a good point about our lack of butterflies in the yard. He said maybe it's because our garden is too small of an oasis in a sea of nothingness. No one else around here has a garden, and we're in the middle of farm country. We DO get tons of what we commonly refer to as "cabbage moths, though - small, pale yellow butterflies with one or 2 black or brown spots on the wings. They flutter prettily around the garden, and I appreciate their beauty. :)

Hope the painted ladies come through later this year, at least!

Brenda


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Wow - more great photos! Your Eastern Tailed-Blue is very blue Jean - quite pretty. I love the photo of the Clearwing and bee - such amazing detail. You mentioned Honeybees - I saw my first one in 10 years out in my butterfly garden. They are getting rare so glad to hear you have lots of them! Oh - how I love the insects up close and personal.

Brenda - like Jean said you might want to tuck in a few host plants. Curly parsely is good, milkweed of any kind, asclepsia tuberosa is sure to attract and you have Paw Paw trees don't you?


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 7, 08 at 11:16

CT, I actually (finally!!) got a California dutchman's pipe last year. It's said to be the host plant of pipevine swallowtail larva, and I'm really hoping to attract them when it eventually blooms. I may have to wait another year or so, though.

I used to have an Asclepias tuberosa, but after it died in the freeze, I instead got the CA native version, A. fascicularis. It hasn't bloomed yet this year, but I'm trying to be patient. According to Las Pilitas Nursery, it's a host for the adult and larva of Monarchs and Acmon blues, as well as the adult west coast lady. Keeping my fingers crossed! :)

There has been some discussion on the CA forum, and throughout the internet, that non-native milkweeds might not only be invasive (duh! LOL), but they don't provide the needed nutrients. It's all very controversial, though, and I sure miss my A. tuberosa.

Brenda


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CT thanks for the reminder about the paw-paw being a host plant, I've been meaning to go check mine to see if I have any zebra larva - mine is only about 2 1/2 feet tall but it's such a cute little tree!

I was excited about the honeybees even though I am alergic to them and I was working (or trying to!) very close to the bushes.

I checked for my monarch caterpillar today and I couldn't find it ... I think it will be several more days before it turns into a crysallis so I'll keep checking (and hoping I finally get to see one!)


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This one is my favorite. There was 2 of them. Cavorting around so fast it was almost impossible to take pictures of them together. Glenda

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I love the eastern tiger swallowtails too! They are definitely the most abundant swallowtail here. Excellent photos of them too!


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The lantana I put in a huge tub (former home of a banana) is really getting big and bushy. I keep it pinched here and there and put in 3 fertilizer spikes. It is a hybrid called 'Miss Huff'. JoePyeWeed blooms are opening so I expect lots of Monarchs. The JPW is over 10 feet tall and the one plant I put in several years ago has spread all across the back of the pond and seedlings popping up hilly nilly too. Thankfully, it is a favorite.

Brenda - I've finally found native MD Dutchman's pipe but then decided I don't have room for anything else although Pipevine swallowtails are not common.

One butterfly I've never seen is the Baltimore Checkerspot. Quite rare which is a shame.

I threw fresh corn on the cob out in the backyard and boy the birds like it (crows, bluejays, others) and also the squirrels. Also, threw out half a watermelon and that went quickly as well. I've cut back on my bird feeders and only feed sunflower chips and suet. I've had to knock out all the dozens of bags of food as it is too expensive (son entering college this fall and now have a car payment at the same time the child support is over!)


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 13, 08 at 11:54

I'm thinking I may have to go that route with the newest Lantana Mom gave me, CT - in a big ol' pot. I just don't have anywhere left in the yard which is sunny enough and also has soil. :D I can't go wrong with Lantanas if I want more butterflies, that's for sure!

You're right about the rarity of the PV swallowtail, too. I notice some people posting sightings of them on the CA forum, but they're mainly in southern CA. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if I NEVER see one, even when my small Dutchman's gets large, especially in this sea of nothingness in which I live.

I'm still doing the seed thing, mainly because I don't have a son going to college...LOL...but also because I feel SO guilty after having feed them all this time. They're almost like pets to me now. I swear I see them look askance at me when I've been gone a couple days and the feeders are empty. LOL

I can't wait for more butterfly, etc., pics!! Glenda, do you happen to know the name of the Lantana in your most recent pics? I have a couple labelled 'Radiation', and they're orangish, but I never know for sure if the big box stores are right. I REALLY love those colors on yours, though!

Brenda


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Almost forgot!

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 13, 08 at 12:00

CT, I just looked up your 'Miss Huff' Lantana, and I'm drooling!! It looks like candy, with the orange, yellow, pinkish, etc., blooms. Beautiful!

I can't believe how many damselflies I have in the yard this year! They are blue, and seem to be almost curious, following me when I'm working in the yard. "Whatcha lookin' at? What flower is that? Where ya goin'? Can I help?" LOL

Brenda


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CT, I just looked up your lantana and saw that it is hardy in zone 7 - I wonder if I try some and keep it protected in the winter if it would winter over. I'm not sure which ones I have but I might give it a shot.

My butterflies are definitely less this year, I'm guessing it has to do with last summers drought. I saw a few today when I went to a park for a little R&R but it was so windy that all my shots came out blurry. One was an American Copper which I had never seen before.

Brenda I have damselflies all through my yard too, when I walk through the garden or the grass they fly around me and then settle back in the same place. I love the male eastern forktails, they have a bright green head and a bright blue spot at the end of their abdomen which is about all you see from 4 feet away - it looks like little blue and green dots floating around! I also have alot of the double-striped bluets which are bright blue and so tiny!

I've cut down on the bird feeding too - it has gotten so expensive and hubby recently retired so we are trying to cut back on expenses. I've been ground feeding with cracked corn too, I think most of it was going to the chippies and squirrels anyway and they seem happy with the corn. I put out cantalope rinds and seeds the other day and they bluejays were fighting over them. Luckily sugar is cheap so the hummers are still getting plenty!


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A new visitor today.

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A different view of a previous visitor.
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And a better view of a previous one.
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I think that first one is a buckeye - please, please send him up this way - supposedly they migrate north in the fall but I've never seen one :^(.

That top view of the longtail is pretty cool - would love to see the wings spread (hint, hint)

I came home tonight and there were three pipevine swallowtails on my lantana. Two were flirting and flew off together. I tried so hard to get nice clear pictures but they never stop flitting their wings - take a break already! So here is what I did get, sidelit unfortunately. I tried to get their irridescent blue, it's gorgeous when the light hits it just right.

Pipevine swallowtail 1

Pipevine swallowtail 2

Yesterday when I went to the park I found some Halloween pennant dragonflies, they are so striking! It took me awhile to find one on a sturdy perch so it wasn't blowing all over the place ....

Halloween Pennant 1

Halloween Pennant 2

And if you ever wondered how damselflies mate, heres the lowdown ....

Double striped damsels in a wheel


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Wow - that Halloween dude is striking! Also, love the topview of the Longtail. That first one is an American Lady not a Buckeye. American Lady which is similar to the Painted Lady (American Lady has two BIG eyes and the Painted as FOUR eyes) on the underside of the wing. Both have lots of cobwebbing and the upturned snoot. We get both ladies here quite a bit, but the Common Buckeye is not so common here in my area anyway.

I read up on the Lantanas and 'Miss Huff' is said to be the most winter hardy of the lot, perfectly hardy in zone 7. I read one should mulch it well for winter and don't cut it back until you see some bud in the following spring. Might want to put yours in a protected warmer location near a wall or sheltered from the wind. 'Miss Huff' (and some others are also seed sterile) so no green berries (which are poisonous BTW). I think I'll leave my 'Miss Huff' in the big pot and take my chances. The soil it is in was for a banana so it is very sharp draining which is good for the plant. Also, lantana won't want much fertilizer as it can reduce bloom and increase leaves. Brenda - you should be able to grow just about any lantana in your zone. Lantana can be propagated from stem cutting (just past green stage but not woody), use rooting hormone, and pot them up in small pots and keep watered until they root. Get in the ground in the lower end of hardiness zones and well established before winter.

I'll get a photo of my 'Miss Huff' on the next overcast day. I don't like full sunlight photos with my camera. Colors are not true. Mine starts bright orange, then yellow-orange, then turns coral, then reddish-coral, but since the blooms are always in different stages you get all the colors. I read it grows about 4' x 4' feet or larger. Good! The pot I have it in will be perfect for a shrub that size.

Saw a Zebra Swallotail today. Oh, another thing - even though I've not seen a Baltimore Checkerspot I did see the caterpillar of one last year. Those are wild looking, almost scary like it might sting if you touch it.

Link to lantana below from Clemson.edu

Here is a link that might be useful: Lantana


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 15, 08 at 8:47

Ohhhh, Jean!! That pipevine swallowtail is gorgeous!! You're so lucky! That settles it - I'm going to look into getting tons more Lantanas...when I find room. Maybe I'll kill off some other plants. LOL Just kidding. They're so easy, too, like you mentioned, CT. They hate water here, so I only give it when they're desperate. And of course, no fert.

Someone on the CA forum admitted to trying a Lantana berry after it had turned black (supposedly not poisonous then). He said it didn't taste very good. LOL

The Halloween dragonflies are incredible! What a perfect name. And the mating damsels pic is amazing! Awkward, but amazing. :D Is the blue the male?

Brenda


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After seeing the top of the longtail I think that one is a Longtailed Skipper (because of the coloration green/blue).

Lantana is considered invasive in some places. My lantana was in a one gallon pot and about 12" tall and 6" wide. After putting it in the big pot and refreshing some of the soil with an organic mix, I put in 3 Miracle Grow fertilizer spikes around the outer edges. In two weeks it is 2' tall and 2' feet wide. It is in the pot with two species hippeastrom that overwintered in that pot and bloomed already. I expect it will get quite large over the course of the summer. I keep the dead flowers pinched off and water it once or twice a week but it drains quickly.

I have a tomato plant in another giant pot right next to it which is also growing like gang busters. They both get full sun from sunrise to about 3:30 (about 9 hours). The flowers on mine have a strong coral look to them and turn pink (near the end of the bloom) when I pinch them off. I also pinch back branches here and there (not all at once like a shear).


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Thanks everyone for the comments on my butterflies. I never really paid attention to the different kinds, just enjoyed seeing all the different ones. Now I am getting more interested in their comings and goings. Really wondering where they go at night. Glenda


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I keep threatening to go to gardening in just pots - I seem to do much better with them that way. My deck is literally covered with pots and I have three skids with pots on them - all small plants that I bought and grow in pots all summer than plant them in the fall, they seem to do much better that way. I go to Springhill's catalog surplus sale and everything is a 1.00 (or many times, they are 3/1.00) - you never know what you are going to find there, they are also the distributor for Audubon, Michigan bulb and a few others. Most of the plants do really great although I bought 5 dry root crabapple trees and only one came out of dormancy. This year they had a nice variety of bushes, I got some snowberries, elderberry, one blueberry(that was an oops since I need a male and female), and 3 different kinds of viburnums. I also got some pokers, a purple butterfly weed, daylilies, mallows, some of the bronzey colored coral bells and queen-of-the-prairie. I ran out of pots so I did plant some in the garden! Hmmm... not sure how I got off on that tangent!

Glenda, keep those pictures coming, I love seeing your butterflies! I'm not sure where they go, but I occassionally find them in the morning sunning on a leaf when the mornings are cool. I've also startled some dragonflies out of the tall grass in the mornings.

I've been reading some postings on the butterfly forum - it seems to be mostly about raising them which has piqued my interest. It doesn't take much room or money and certainly seems to have a positive impact on the butterfly population. Sounds like it might be fun ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterflies raised and released


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  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 16, 08 at 11:16

We took Roscoe for a walk down the road yesterday. There are tomato and safflower fields, and canals with cattails, etc. These are the same safflower fields into which DH once threw a stick for Roscoe, and he couldn't figure out why she wasn't running back like usual. Those things are full of sharp bits! LOL Poor Roscoe!!

The number of dragonflies blew my mind! I've never seen ones colored like these in my yard before. The first one, on the tip of a cattail, looks like he's smiling at me. The 2nd one looks like it has a pug face! LOL Sorry for the lack of clarity - the wind was blowing, and the dragons were cavorting. :D

I also saw some black and white striped damsels in the yard yesterday. Different from the usual bright blue, but still very pretty. They're so tiny, I can't imagine trying to photograph them! LOL

Brenda


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Can someone ID this new visitor. His wings go so fast, it was hard to photograph.
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It is a Hummingbird Moth. Most likely a clearwing as you can see the clear areas in the wings (like a window). The photos show some good field ID marks (green in wing, solid color top, white mid section stripe, some white on the tail). Jean has a photo posted of a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on this thread. It is not a Sphinx type that is for sure. You can find yours on the below link in a couple of the photos.
On the link look at the third row down and the fourth photo over to the right. A real good photo showing the clear wings. I think that is the same as yours. I love them - reminds me of little hummingbirds.

A quick distinction between butterflies and moths are the antenae on the butterflies are smooth and on the moth feathery.

Here is a link that might be useful: Various Hummingbird Moths


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Thanks CT, Hubby thought it was a little hummingbird, but I told him it wasn't. He said "what is it then?" I told him I didn't know, but someone here would. Glenda


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Definitely a clearwing hummingbird moth, I believe it is the snowberry. Pretty fearless creatures but tough to photograph, they don't stay still for very long!

Brenda, I think your dragonfly is a female variegated meadowhawk or possibly a teneral male. They are fairly rare here, I think more common in California but I'm not sure. Very cool dragonfly. So now go back out with your camera and put it on macro and get a picture of those damselflies!


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RE: oops, forgot the link

Meant to post a link to some great pictures of the meadowhawk ....

Here is a link that might be useful: Meadowhawk


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RE: Odes and Leps

Note - I just opened my link where I gave directions to the photo and apparently those photos don't come up the same each time as the forth row down, third over is now pointing at a sphinx! So much for that. Next time I'll click on the actual photo instead of a group of images that 'shift' around in position. Learn something every day. :-)


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RE: Odes and Leps

Thanks for that info CT. Thought something was wrong because that didn't look like mine. Glenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 17, 08 at 17:00

Jean, you're good!! Thanks so much! The 2nd one down in that link definitely looks like those I was photographing. My folks live in Redding, CA (Shasta Co.), about 2 hrs. away, so it's not a long shot they'd be here. I'll have to keep an eye out for a male now!

What does "teneral" mean?

Do you know if Audubon puts out a field guide to dragons/damsels, etc.? If so, THAT will be on my Christmas list. :D

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 21, 08 at 9:02

I got some macros of the damsels in my yard, finally! Are these male and female?

"She" (?) did this just as I was focussing the camera. :)

Straightened out again...

Mr. Man?

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

OMG! All of your pics are awesome! How do you get them so clear and close? Those are beautiful creatures.


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 22, 08 at 10:22

Mine aren't NEARLY as good as Jean's, but I have a setting on my Canon, a little button that looks like a flower with the letters MF (manual focus?) next to it, which I just press to get up close and personal. :D

Here are 2 shots from behind the damsels, showing more of the colors and patterns.

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

Fantastic shots of the damselflies, you must have a steadier hand than me! I believe they are bluets, of which there are dozens of species but I'm gonna guess they are familiar bluets. To really be sure you almost have to have the damselfly under a magnifying glass - they are so hard to tell apart! I think the first couple are teneral (still developing color), which can last from a few hours to a few days.

Proudgm - I don't have the steady hands of some of these young ladies so I ALWAYS use a tripod even though I have image stabilization on my zoom lens. And I have learned to keep my head from touching the camera because when I get excited about a new bird, etc my heads starts to bob up and down! (it's the little things, don't ya know !)


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 23, 08 at 10:12

LOL @ steady hands, Jean! Those pics I posted are the good ones (5) out of at least 40. The other 35 or so were terrible! :D

I always start breathing heavy when I'm trying to get a picture of something exciting. Then, my hand starts shaking and the camera says, "Hey, I can only do so much, lady!" LOL

Thanks for your help in ID'ing, although I love them just the same without names. :)

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

Look what I saw this week! A common buckeye, although not quite so common in the land of the buckeyes!

And I've got a monarch caterpillar that is just getting ready to pupate, I've been feeding him/her for the last week - you would not believe how much they eat and poop! I'm not sure that this will be a regular hobby for me but had to try it just once.


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RE: Odes and Leps

Such beautiful photos! We seem to have more Odes especially the dragonflies this year. We've raised the random caterpillar found in the garden or the Wooly bears we scooped up as they cross the road. Did you name your caterpillar?


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RE: Odes and Leps

I wish I could have gotten better pictures, but this visitor was very camera shy and didn't stay around very long. Hopefully He will return and I can do better.

Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: Odes and Leps (2)

A new Butterfly couple visits today.

Photobucket
Photobucket
And this one is spreading his wings just for Jeanner
Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 3, 08 at 20:09

Beautiful buckeye shot, Jean!! And congrats on your Monarch baby! Maybe you should name him Poopie. :D

Glenda, is that dragonfly red or purple? I bet it was gorgeous in person!! I hope it returns so you can see it again!

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

AH... thanks Mr. Butterfly for the beautiful display :^)

I believe your new visitors are variegated fritillaries. And I'm guessing your GORGEOUS dragonfly is a roseate skimmer. Lucky you, what a beautiful dragonfly. Check the link below for comparison.

Hmmm.... did I name my monarch cat???? Let me tell you how bad we are at picking names .... We had Smokey a year and just called her kitty but then we got Bandit and we knew we were in trouble ... I didn't think Kitty and Kitty-Kitty would work very well! I think it must be inherited as my parents could never decide on a middle name so I didn't get one!

I was disappointed I didn't get to see the caterpillar pupate, it's supposed to be pretty amazing. When I left, it was hanging from the screen in the proper J form and when I returned it was a beautiful jade green crysalis. I'll try to get some pictures later but they shouldn't be disturbed for 48 hours after they pupate. So howabout Mr. J since that's what he was doing the last time I saw him???

Our catalpa trees have been stripped from catalpa moth caterpillars, those things are huge! I decided not to raise any of those - don't need any nightmares about giant caterpillars eating their way through my house.

I finally had a luna moth, the first for the year. It had just emerged and was sunning itself stuck to a blanket left on the back deck. It was still a pale yellow. Then suddenly it took to the skies and disappeared into the woods.

I do have some more dragonfly pictures but I have to get them uploaded ... so soon!

Here is a link that might be useful: Roseate skimmer


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RE: Odes and Leps

Brenda, It looked more red in person. But the pictures of the Roseate skimmer look just like it. Thanks Jeanner for the ID. Glenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

Heres a few of the dragonfly pictures ...

Female blue dasher

This is a damselfly that I found in my ravine, it's teneral and hasn't developed it's colors yet.
Slender spreadwing

This is a flag tailed spineyleg, one of the clubtails, found at a local pond ..
Flag tailed spiney leg

And a midland clubtail
Midland Clubtail

The next three are all county records, never reported in my county before. Which really makes me think someone is not looking very hard!

This is a arrowhead spiketail that was hunting in my yard. This dragonfly has only been reported in 20% of the Ohio counties, all in counties on the eastern border. This is the farthest west in the state that it has ever been reported.

Arrowhead spiketail

This dusky dancer damselfly has been reported in about half of the counties in Ohio. I found it at the creek that is across the road.

Dusky dancer - and just as the name suggests, a fairly dull looking damselfly

This is a unicorn clubtail, also found at a local pond. They have been reported in about 40% of the counties in Ohio.

Unicorn clubtail

Not nearly as pretty as the roseate skimmer, but still fun to find!


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 6, 08 at 11:13

Jean, those are amazing!!! And even more so that you've found 3 that have never been reported in your county! So exciting!!!

I think my favorite is the Arrowhead spiketail - the markings are so beautiful. I love the names of them all, too. So descriptive and obvious. :D

The Dusky is gorgeous, in my opinion! I'm a sucker for blue eyes, though. LOL

Thanks for the awesome pics!!!

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

Heres Mr. J - or Mrs.J - and you can tell the difference by a small mark at the top in the back .... but I think I'll just wait and be surprised. No sense in decorating "the nursery" for the few hours it will be in it!

The chrysalis is the most beautiful color of jade with gold spots, the pictures don't do it justice!

I increased the contrast a little on this one so you can see the wings that are already forming ....


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 7, 08 at 9:08

OMG, that is incredible! Like a work of art...which I suppose it is. I've never seen a chrysalis in person. I'm "green" with envy!!

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

I released my monarch tonight! I came home and it was ready to go! I let it out and forgot to check to see if it was a male or female. It flew to a brugmansia that I have on my deck and then took to the sky ... it was beautiful and a little sad to see it go.

I've had numerous monarch's in the yard this weekend so hopefully it will find a mate - although I'm not sure if they will breed here again or start their journey south.

Heres one of the monarchs from the weekend ...


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RE: Odes and Leps

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 12, 08 at 11:25

Awww, what a great adventure, Jean! It's amazing to think that one of them out there is "yours". :)))) Now, I wish it would come to visit. LOL

Brenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

It was amazing to watch it go through all the stages - just another of natures miracles! I watched a tiger swallowtail laying eggs the other day when I spend my lunch hour at the park. I talked myself out of raising those too! Now's not a good time .... but maybe next year.


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RE: Odes and Leps

I just had to go out and take a few more pictures before the storm "Fay" gets here. The butterflies may get blown away by tomorrow. Hope they find somewhere safe to hide. Glenda

Photobucket


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RE: Odes and Leps

I hope you make it through okay too! The last I heard was Fay was not forecasted to gain anymore strength - are you on the east coast? That Fay has been something else though, her meandering is quite impressive!

Stay safe and LET US KNOW HOW YOU ARE DOING!!


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RE: Odes and Leps

Jeanner, We are pretty much in the middle of North Florida. About 90 miles west of Jacksonville. We are just supposed to get lots of rain and some wind. And sometimes with this we lose power for a few days. Lots of very old trees that sometimes fall on lines due to the weight of the water and the wind. We don't anticipate any problems since we have generators and we don't have trees near the house. I might have to dump some water from the pond a few times, but that isn't a problem. Florida will probably develope some sinkholes from this, which can be very scary at times. Glenda


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RE: Odes and Leps

All beautiful photos! My favorite is the slender spreadwing. Love those delicate gossamer wings with the rainbow sparkles.

Jade and gold and a perfect vessel. I'm glad you got a chance to see them. I get a wild one here and there.

Fay is going to be awful for the butterflies and the people with all that rain and wind.


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