We found this gigantic caterpillar in the fall of 2008. The same day it made a cocoon. We kept the cocoon in the house. One night in May 2009 my husband got up to get a drink and found a huge moth flying around the kitchen. It had hatched! He put it in a container for me where in must have bent its wing a bit. It stayed in our yard for the whole day. This lovely spider hung out on this particular rose on my arbor for several days. Camouflaged and sneaky this little beauty was feasting daily…Olbrich Botanic Gardens in Madison, WI has a butterfly event. I visited twice this year…This is a humming-bird clear winged moth. When it caught my eye I thought it was a huge bumble bee.Then I noticed there was another one but it looked a little different. I thought in must be a mate. But with a little research I found it was a different species…the snow berry clear winged moth. These moths are active in the day. The rest of these are just around my garden…And my favorite of all is the last one here. The sweet face of this little Fire Skipper butterfly.
I love little boys and little boy’s joys. Boys and dogs and frogs are special! But boys and dogs and toads are my specialty. (Frogs are much harder to catch!) Carmel the dog is visiting and so are my grandsons. Carmel started digging in a hole behind my Hydrangeas. I have seen that hole for weeks and thought it was a chipmunk hole. But instead the boys were excited to find a big, handsome toad in the hole! Since early spring we would find a toad in the yard nearly every time the boys came over. And every time he was a little bigger. But with the drought we are having this year he seemed to disappear. He was deep in his hole keeping cool. Now his hidey hole has been discovered. As usual he was treated to a little vacation resort creation in the kiddie pool……and some one-on-one time with his favorite admirer. (No toady creature was hurt while photographing for this post!)
I feel like a “Mrs. McGregor”. I hate rabbits. I have a garden…that says it all. Today my grandson built a rabbit trap!We placed it here where there USED to be black-eyed Susans. The rabbits ate all of them and the owl did not deter them. Push pins and celery…seems like a clever trap to me! On our way to our next project my grandson spotted this lovely butterfly!Armed with magnifying glasses we headed down to the lake shore to try a little burning.Protective sunglasses, a bucket of water and a nice dry plank.Just like his daddy he is learning the technique.Not bad, the letter “L”. On the way back up to the house we spotted another butterfly in the garden.A little beauty. According to google it is a Hylephila Phyleus with the common name Fiery Skipper. It posed quite nicely for me as you will see.Sipping and looking right into the camera. What a sweetheart!
Being a horticulture major long ago in college I find it very rewarding to work in my garden. I have purposely planted specific flowers in order to attract humming birds and butterflies. One day last year, with my garden fully in bloom, I saw two yellow swallow-tail butterflies. But instead of landing and sipping sweet nectar from my lovely flowers……they flew high over the garden and down to the lake shore on our property. I decided to follow them to see what could entice them away from the sweet nectar of my flowers! The next photo is not for the faint of heart! There were the two beautiful butterflies sipping, frolicking and enjoying life…well, look at this! What were they thinking?!? Dead fish and mucky seaweed instead of my flower garden?After a bit of a sip and a frolic they would fly high over my garden and head right back to the muck.In their defense all I can say is that I think they were quite young for they were very tame. I was able to walk right up to them and pick them up!I did finally find butterflies and moths and humming birds enjoying my flowers but those photos will be for another post and another day.