Butterflies are one of my favorite critters to watch and photograph. There are usually 3 or 4 cabbage whites dancing around at any given moment and the odd monarch will sail grandly in and eventually wander off, in their slightly tipsy manner. Once in a while, though, the garden is graced with unusual visitors like the red-spotted purple.
|Red-spotted Purple drinking from a muddy spot|
|Unknown black with white spots on hydrangea|
|Possibly a Fritallary of some sort? It was visiting the butterfly bush.|
|Large, black wasp - it has a gorgeous blue sheen when seen in the right light|
|This wasp must be 3 inches long!|
If you're tempted to grow this herb to attract these insects, be aware that it IS a kind of mint, with all that implies. I find it spreads more by seed than runners, but it can be a handful to contain.
Insects aren't the only flyers visiting the flowers. This year we have been blessed with not one, but 3 hummingbirds! Here in the east, we only have ruby-throated hummingbirds. They are iridescent green and the male has a magenta patch on his throat. As far as we can tell, all 3 of ours are females.
They are ridiculously difficult to photograph. The shots below were taken at a distance by either me or Brian and have been blown up and cropped to get the best view. Apologies for the blur, but you can blame the hummers!
|My shot - hummer feeding on a canna lily|
|Another of mine|
|Brian's shot - he has a much better camera and was able to get the wings|