Friday, September 17, 2010

Butterfly Frenzy!

I'm glad I had a witness or it might have been one of those hard to believe experiences. John and I were taking Lucy for a Walk. We walked around the greenhouse, between the greenhouse flowerbed and the bee & butterfly garden behind the second greenhouse and we walked right into a cloud of butterflies.

There were literally hundreds of them - they seemed to be fluttering between the two butterfly bushes in those two gardens. I've never seen so many together at once. The vast majority were the small whites and yellows (sulfers) and fritillaries, but there were also some swallowtails and a few skippers. It was a lovely summer sight and I'm glad to see that butterflies made a resurgence this year. I know you‘ll see more on sunny days so there‘s one benefit of all the sunny, dry weather this season.

The other thing lots of butterflies means is more rescues from the greenhouse. They fly in, cannot find their way out and have to be released. (not so smart, don‘t have this problem with bees) I know they only live a month or so, so I hated the thought of them trapped in there fluttering against the walls. So I check periodically, capture and release them. The big ones are much easier to catch. One day I walked in and there were about 15 congregated along the front wall!

The sweet autumn Clematis on the pergola is in full, fragrant bloom. It always reminds me of a flowery, white cloud. It is full of bumblebees busily working. Another plant loaded with bumblebees and butterflies now is sedum. If you have 'Autumn Joy' (reddish) or *Brilliant* (pinkish) Check them out. Loads of bees and a good variety of butterflies.

I‘m getting a good second crop of lavender, am still drying euphorbia (snow on the mountain) along with statice, gomphrena, and celosia. Although frost is still a while away, I'm starting to remove annuals that have suffered through the dry weather. Some just look beat.

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