By Karen Macaulay
It is the first week in September and the butterflies are prolific here in our yard. Looking out my window to the backyard I see a perfect yellow and black Tiger Swallowtail, two Buckeyes, a Pipevine Swallowtail and a tattered Great Spangled Fritillary nectaring on our large Lantana, along with many Skippers. I try to name the different Skippers with my field guide book in hand, but fail. I will have to brave the sun and heat and get a closer look.
Uh-oh, one of our numerous Hummingbirds just flew in to get some nectar herself. This has caused quite a stir.
Yesterday a female Monarch was laying eggs on the common milkweed and the swamp milkweed in our yard. She curls her abdomen under the leaf, deposits an egg, then flies off to find another milkweed to do the same. Fortunately we have a lot of milkweed. In about a week we should be seeing first instar caterpillars (the earliest growth stage of caterpillars).This is so exciting!
Our composites are full of goldfinches gleaning as many seeds as they can in the perennial gardens lining our driveway. They rise in a cloud from these flowers when I go out in the morning for our newspaper. The Carolina Wren scolds me, as he thinks that he owns this yard.
The insects are out in force. Our pond attracts numerous honeybees around the edges, our flowers full of many species of bees, wasps, beetles and bugs. Oh, and the spiders are everywhere. You really must watch where you walk.
Our yard supports many squirrels, who try for the bird food, but also relish our pecans. I noticed baby bunnies out front last week. I noticed one didn’t make it, lying in our side yard. The next day all that was left was a small amount of fur and some small bones. Other predators at work. They have to eat, too.