The gardens are filled with beating wings this month – wings of butterflies, bees, moths, damselflies, beetles and wasps. Many of them don’t like to sit still long, so trying to photograph them can be a great way to while away the hours.
There have been an encouraging number of monarchs along the north shore of Lake Ontario recently, and they are particularly attracted to the flowers of the Silphium perfoliatum, aka cup plant, carpenter’s weed, squareweed, compass plant. One of the monarchs I photographed had been tagged by Monarch Watch, and I hope to hear how far it has travelled so far and whether it makes it all the way to Mexico before winter.
Earlier in the summer the bumblebees proved very difficult to photograph, but recently they’ve been slowing down to linger on the flowers of catnip.
One bumblebee was carrying so much pollen that its pollen baskets swayed from side to side as it crawled over the flowers.
How much of this pollen came from catnip? That’s hard to say, since the bees were also working over the silphium flowers the same afternoon.
The beautiful swallowtail butterflies also tend to flash around the garden without settling long. But I learned that when a pair of them land in the same flower patch they are far more interested in each other, and it’s possible to get close enough for a good photograph.
Not to be outdone, the northern flickers have also been feeding in the yard recently, and this one seems to say “Never mind about those little wings – have a look at this tail!”