A Summer Picnic for Pollinators
There was a lot of buzzing in the garden the other day, buzzing and fluttering. So I decided I would do a little pollinator post. Judy was out of town, though, so these pics are not be up to her usual quality.
I can’t resist starting with the Monarch Butterflies. These days there are usually three Monarchs in the front garden. That number often grows as we move further into late summer.
Sometimes two but at other times all three Monarchs will chase each other around the garden. This is a mating behavior, I think. I certainly hope so, because we haven’t seen any caterpillars in weeks.
Here’s something I learned recently. When Monarchs first come out of the chrysalis, their proboscis is divided lengthwise into two halves. The halves have to combine before the Monarch can feed. Isn’t that weird?
This male isn’t looking too fresh. I wonder if there is some kind of Grecian Formula for male Monarchs who want more youthful-looking wings.
Along with the Monarch threesome, there is usually a Black Swallowtail out front. It’s sort of hyperactive, and so difficult to photograph. Sometimes it joins in with the Monarchs when they chase each other around. Other Butterflies I saw but did not photograph include a Cloudless Sulphur and some Red Admirals.
And there were plenty of Cabbage Whites, of course. Would we find Cabbage Whites more interesting if they had a better common name? How about like Crucifer Ecru?
There are lots of Honeybees and Bumblebees around on any given day in the front garden. For now, though, let’s give some attention to the less cuddly pollinators.
I think this is a Digger Wasp, but please feel to correct me if I’m wrong. Digger Wasps are big and look dang scary, but they are unlikely to sting people.
Pretty sure this is another Digger Wasp on some Ornamental Oregano (Origanum laevigatum).
Is that a bee or some kind of bee-mimicking fly on the Allium lusitanicum ‘Summer Beauty’? Either way, it’s about to be joined by a Bumblebee.
Fly, I think, because there’s only one pair of wings and short antennae. Don’t look down on flies. While some are annoying, others are important pollinators.
Who is this on the Wild Bergamont (Monarda fistulosa)? Maybe a Sweat Bee?
That’s all for now. I hope to continue capturing on film some of the less obvious pollinators. It can be a challenge, especially for the really little ones. A goal for retirement, I think, will be to develop a deeper knowledge of the pollinators in the garden.
Are you seeing plenty of pollinators around your garden?