Yard Work

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

When I write a to-do list, “yard work” is always on it somewhere, but unfortunately doesn’t get done often enough and just when I think I’m beginning to make the slightest dent in the weeds and overgrowth…it rains and everything grows back again. With a vengeance.

Blooms Yard 7-19-14-1566

When this past Saturday turned out cool and dry, I could not resist spending time in the yard, so I dug and pulled and trimmed and made somewhat of a dent in the weed cover. I should probably thin out the area by the back fence that has been taken over by Purple Coneflower, Evening Primrose, Goldenrod and Rudbeckia, but I haven’t yet. Especially when it’s crowded with bees and butterflies enjoying the flower forest. I stopped gardening and started taking a few pictures when the Tiger Swallowtail flew in to enjoy the coneflowers. The Swallowtail and the Red Admiral must get some of their coloring from these flowers.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

The birds stay out of the yard when I’m in it so I had a chance to pay more attention to the insects. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this pretty little fly before.

Tachina Fly Yard 7-19-14-2942

Tachina Fly

I have been fascinated by these little bees with the bright yellow on their legs for years and I think they must be Mining Bees.

Mining Bee Yard 7-19-14-2936

Mining Bee

Last year I was dreaming about planting milkweed so after I dug out all my butterfly bush that had grown for years by the north fence, I planted some milkweed seeds, but they never sprouted. However I have been noticing milkweed plants where I did not put them. I imagine the birds heard I wanted milkweed and brought the plants to me. The ones in the first picture below are not blooming yet, but the second picture is of a Swamp Milkweed that had buds on it when I took the photograph. It finally had blooms this evening, so I will have to go back for another picture. I’m very excited about the Swamp Milkweed even though I am puzzled why it thinks my yard is a swamp.

Milkweed Yard 7-19-14-1561

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed

I took too many pictures of the Swallowtail and he never completely opened up his wings for me, but I was happy to have him as my favorite subject anyway.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Yard 7-19-14-1543I haven’t managed to study the bumblebees yet, but I am always happy to see them, they’re very friendly. Sometimes I find one curled up in a bloom overnight. I went out to fill the bird feeder one night this past week, so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning before work, and found a bumblebee tucked up underneath it. I left him to his slumber and filled the feeder in the morning.

Bee Yard 7-19-14-2928The Red Admiral didn’t open his wings for me either. Oh well.

Red Admiral Yard 7-19-14-2907We had beastly hot weather for a couple days and now we have cooled off again. I recall the same thing happened last summer. Strange weather pattern, but I love the cooler temperatures.

One more shot of the Swallowtail with sprays of orange-red pollen all over.

Tiger Swallowtail Yard 7-19-14-1494

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