Thursday, August 2, 2007

Battered Butterfly, Beetles and Bees

I saw another tiger swallowtail this evening and was able to get a few pictures.
From this angle it looks beautiful, but the poor thing was missing a large portion of the other wing.

It was still able to fly, but not very well. At one point the breeze began to slightly blow and it really struggled to fly.

Of the many varieties of flowers I've planted to attract the butterflies they all seem to like the Verbena bonariensis the best. I have quite a bit of this because it was planted several years ago and reseeds well.The bees also love it. This bumble bee was quite large. I used to be so afraid of the bees and would run inside when I saw one because I've been stung several times. Once, at my home in Tuscaloosa, I must have stumbled across a bumble bee nest in the very back of the yard because a bumble bee came after me and chased me screaming into the house and persisted at flying into the window over and over. It was very angry with me for some reason and wanted a piece of me. I was afraid to go into the backyard for days after that happened. This year I've been able to get right up close to photograph them and they don't seem to be bothered by my presence.
Some garden bloggers have said that they aren't having problems with Japanese beetles this year. I wish I could say that, but I can't, they are pretty bad for me this year. I try to go out every evening and pick them off my plants and drop them in a large zip-lock baggie with soap and hot water. They are eating my miniature roses, impatiens, sweet potato vines, birches, Japanese maples, zinnias, and sadly they have made a mess of my new Karen azalea. Someone said that they like things close to the house. That has been the case here, because I had a purple crab apple tree in the front yard, close to the house, they always stripped the leaves off and it looked so unsightly that I didn't want it in a visible place. This spring I moved it to the very back of the back yard and it hasn't been eaten, yet.
In years past my clematis has been beautiful, but not this year. The blooms were sparse and didn't last very long at all. The picture above is a new one that was planted in the spring and it is just now beginning to bloom.
This has been a busy time for me getting ready for and having company, so I haven't been working in the yard too much, not that I even want to because it has just been too hot. We live so far from family and friends and it is very nice when they come here to see us. It seems to come in spurts for us sometimes in the summer; my husbands family was here last week and my parents are coming tomorrow to stay a week with us. So, I'm not sure how often I'll get to post in the next few days. I'm hoping to take my mom to Little Nashville in Brown County.


Carol said...

Those beetles are ugly! But the bees are nice as is the butterfly. I find that the bees are too busy, most of the time, to bother with me. The last time I was stung it was by a paper wasp.

And you give yourself away as far as not being from here by calling our Nashville "Little Nashville"! I hope it cools down some before you go down there as the heat just sits in the hollers down there.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Kylee said...

I think Japanese Beetles are GORGEOUS! I don't like what they do, though. :-(

We had a battered Monarch here this week. I swear, he had to have been one of the migrating ones from Mexico! (See my profile picture.)

I'm allergic to bee stings, and I've never been stung by a bumblebee, but I don't want to know what that's like either.

vonlafin said...

I am allergic to honey bees also. I have been stung by every other kind of bee and it has not bothered me, so I am not sure if I am still allergic.
The beetles are eating up my rose bushes too, I sure hope they get out of town soon, I am really tired of them.

Pam/Digging said...

Beautiful photos, even of the Japanese beetles, which I find quite pretty, destructive as they are. I haven't seen any in my Austin garden yet, but my dad has been troubled by them in NC.

I never worry about the bees either, but I seem to have two varieties in my garden: the smaller kind is totally tame and unbothered by close-up photos; the other, larger type aggressively buzzes and zooms toward me when I get too close. I worry sometimes that I'll come upon some Africanized bees in my yard (there was a nasty attack on a couple out at the lake recently), but you just can't worry about that because what can you do? Stay inside all the time? No way.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Carol, I was hoping Nashville would be cooler. It doesn't look like it's going to cool down any for us.

Kylee, I saw your butterfly, it really was battered. I've never thought about beetles being anything except ugly and a thorn in my flesh.

Vonlafin, I'm tired of them too. Isn't it sometime in August when they go away?

Connie said...

I recently posted a similar photo of a tiger swallowtail with a badly battered wing....wonder how this happens?
I love the color of that you know the name of it?

Rosemarie said...

I'm outside chicago and we're also being hit bad with Japanese beetles. They've decimated my roses which coincidently are close to the house too.

Paula said...

Nice close-ups! The colors are incredible. Thanks for sharing your talent with us!!

Annie in Austin said...

Those beetles were terrible in my IL garden too - I'm sorry you have them, Robin. Verbena bonariensis is a butterfly favorite here, too.

The bees used to chase my neighbor but not me -even when we were walking around together. We speculated that it was her brand of hairspray that made them nuts.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Apple said...

You got some great shots! The beetles are fewer than last year here but they're still doing a lot of damage.

Enjoy the family visits!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

We're not having a Japanese beetle problem either. I attribute it mostly to the fact that we have had the lawn treated for grubs for the past couple of years. But now I am wondering if it's something else, so so few other people are bothered.

I need to remember to ask at the garden center what the beetle problem is like.

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Kylee said...

I wanted to pop back in here to say that I was mistaken - the battered butterfly I saw was NOT a Monarch. It's a Viceroy. Very similar, but Monarchs don't have the horizontal banding that Viceroys do. I didn't know that, and the only reason I investigated further was because I'd seen a perfect Monarch a couple of days later and there was something different about the battered one.

Susan's Stuff said...

Enjoy your parents, Robin. Please give James and Betty our regards!!

Diana said...

You have a lovely blog and your flowers are beautiful. I like all the grasses, too. I'm a new Austin, Tx blogger and love finding great sites like yours. My husband is from IN and we are traveling there next week for 10 days. Come visit my blog or add me to your list if you'd like.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Great pictures, how do you get those butterflies to sit still for you??? I take great joy in smashing Japanese beetles with my fingers :).

shirl said...

Hi again, Robin

Lovely to see butterflies on your verbena too. It is also popular with the bees and butterflies here in the UK.

How interesting to see different butterflies, beetles and bees. These beetles do look quite stunning!

BTW just to say I’ve added you to my list of garden links :-)