Isn’t this a lovely photo? I found these two butterflies clinging to a blade of grass out in our lawn the other day when I took my book outside to read in the sun for a bit. Naturally, I hadn’t brought my camera – I was going to be reading, not looking at wildlife. They seemed to be staying put, so I decided to run inside and grab it. I believe these are Clouded Sulphurs (Colias philodice), although they could possibly be the closely related and nearly identical Orange Sulphur (C. eurytheme) – they didn’t open their wings for me. I think the amount of pink edging makes them Clouded, though. Their larval foodplants are white clover and alfalfa – making our lawn a perfect place for them!
This moth was found in our garden one afternoon, flitting between these white flowers. I think they’re leeks, or some other oniony plant closely related to chives (they smell very chivey when crushed). I believe the moth is a Bronzed Cutworm, Nephelodes minians, a reasonably common species that would be starting to fly around now. We tend to think of moths as being nocturnal, but even some species that are primarily encountered at night (at lights) can often be found at flowers during the daytime. These leeks (or whatever) appear to be a favourite; I also saw a looper moth at them this week.
Dan brought me this guy one evening, wondering if it was a giant queen ant. It sure looks like one, with that long, fat abdomen. However, it’s actually a blister beetle in the genus Meloe. I found one last fall and wrote about it here. The one I found last year was a female, with a huuuuge abdomen and straight antennae. This individual has a more moderately-sized abdomen, and its antennae have U-shaped hooks halfway up their length. These hooks are used to grasp the female while mating. Blister beetles have some incredible life-history facts, including the ability that gives them their common name, and climbing stalks of grass to hitchhike rides on passing bees (visit last year’s post to find out why).
I mentioned in last week’s Miscellany that there were some bird-seed-plants growing underneath our feeder. A few days later, Dan happened to notice that there are a couple also growing in the feeder. This one is a baby sunflower. It won’t make it to any size before the frost arrives in a month or so, but it’s an extremely valiant effort.
I posted a little while ago about the delicious fresh produce we’ve been getting with our pick-ups from our local Community Shared Agriculture farm. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of one of the colourful dishes that we had this week. It’s stuffed squash – I’d made this once before, using patty-pan squash that we got in our basket, and enjoyed it so much that I thought I’d do it again, even though we lacked the patty-pans this week. I used acorn squash rings instead, and it worked out fairly well. The filling includes fresh peppers, green onions, corn and tomatoes, mixed with local eggs, cheese and chicken and baked in the oven for half an hour. Mm-mm…. this was probably my favourite dish of all the ones I’ve made with our CSA produce this summer. And I love the colours. It’s too bad this photo has a yellow cast because of the incandescent lighting.
Finally, any gardeners out there? My Love-lies-bleeding ended up growing very stumpy this year – the plants on the right of this photo are only about 6 inches high. Mid-summer it looked like it was dying and done for the year. I didn’t remove it because I tend not to pull things out till the spring. Then a few weeks later I noticed the plant had perked up, started growing again like crazy (horizontally rather than vertically, strangely) and re-bloomed (many short little droopy flower tails growing from the forks of the branches rather than the big long ones at the top of a tall plant). At about the same time, I noticed these similar-looking plants coming up beside it. They had reddish bases to the stems like the L-L-b does. Could it be possible the plant self-seeded when the original flowers had finished, a month ago?
That’s all for this week! A short post because I’m trying to beat our internet, which has been habitually cutting out on us around 11pm every night. Our ISP doesn’t know what the problem is, and can’t help us troubleshoot unless it’s actually doing it. We’ve so far been too lazy to call Tech Support at midnight.