Posts Tagged ‘buckeye’

Pear Tree Remants

A strong wind blew all night and all day.

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I had just picked up all the fallen branches out of this dead pear tree yesterday. Today’s wind broke off  branches, limbs and even one of the trunks.

This tree was one of my favorites because of all the butterflies the rotting pears attracted.

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Lichens growing on the tree attract my attention now. I decided to just enjoy and not try to identify them.

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sap flow gathering red

The pears rotting and their attracting butterflies was one of the highlights of summer. All the butterflies above are hackberry butterflies, except the top one which is a question mark.

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Red spotted purple on the left and a viceroy on the right. Viceroys have an extra black band on their hindwing that the monarch lacks.

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Common buckeye

The pears also attracted bees, wasps, night flying moths and ants to name a few.

So, obviously, I miss the pear tree being alive.

Now that I’m starting to learn lichens, I hope the tree stands for many more years.

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Summer Farewell

A friend of mine gave me these asters she called summer farewell.

They’ve been well-behaved over the 15 years or so they’ve grown in my butterfly garden. They’ve bloomed with gusto every fall and stayed “contained” in their original place. The base of the clump measures roughly 4×5 feet.

Butterflies, bees and other insects can’t resist the meal they have to offer. Painted ladies (like the one above) are the most common butterfly now in my yard.

The cabbage white didn’t stay long at any one flower.

Common buckeyes bask often and are a more patient feeder.

Several species of fold-winged skippers visit the summer farewell too. This is male sachem.

Recent nights with temperatures in mid 30’s greatly reduced the insect/butterfly numbers. One summer, a great butterfly year, monarchs had started their migration south. Summer farewell was in full bloom, standing 5-6 feet tall.

Fifty to 75 monarchs nectared at the asters at the same time. It was so dramatic and kept me occupied for the couple of days they were here. This didn’t include all the other butterfly species visiting the asters too.

Such an accurance always takes presidence over domestic duties where I’m concerned.

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Please excuse the quality of the last picture.

I saw very few monarchs in my yard this summer, and none were a male. The way to tell a male from a female monarch is by the black spot on the vein of a male’s hindwing.