Posts Tagged ‘bumblebee’

A Day-Flying Moth

When is a  bumblebee not a bumblebee?

img_0599-crop

…  when it’s a snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis).

img_0601-crop

They hover to feed at flowers. In this case, it’s a sedum just starting to bloom.

img_0602-crop

I hope more will stop for a sip.

Snowberry Clearwing

When is a bumblebee not a bumblebee?

IMG_2221

It’s not when it’s a snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis).

IMG_2224 crop

They are a day-flying moth. Their range includes southern California and east to Maine and Florida.

A Second Celebration

October 4 was the most perfect fall day. I stayed outside in the gardens enjoying the day until shade covered the flowers. It was a sunny day, with the usual wind. The day sang with colors and activity. A strong cold front came through the next day and changed everything for the rest of the fall.

With winter seemingly to drag on and on, I wanted to celebrate this day again.

Most of the activity centered around these plants in my moon garden. (The red salvias were volunteers.)

The larger cloudless sulphurs finally emigrated up to southern Illinois.

This long tailed skipper was a rare butterfly that also came up from the south.

Painted ladies were the most numerous of all the butterflies. They have 4 spots along outer edge of their hindwing.

This shows the top of a painted lady. There’s also an American painted lady. It has 2 large spots underneath on the hindwing, and a small white spot outer-center part on top of forewing.

This snowberry clearwing is a moth, not a bumblebee, and hovered as it fed.

There was no shortage of bumblebees.

This dainty sulphur preferred the asters. It didn’t stay long at any one flower.

This silver-spotted skipper was a tad faded.

The female spicebush swallowtail obviously wasn’t a fresh one either.

The gray hairstreak prefered the white salvia.

Two or 3 species of fold-winged skippers flitted around from flower to flower too.

All the eye spots made the common buckeye easy to identify.

Asters were common. Pearl crescent butterflies lay their eggs on them. There was a lot of courting going on.

This beautiful flower is an African foxglove. The winds caused the tall spindly plant to lean to one side.

Obviously, this picture didn’t turn out the best. It does show how the bumblebee probed into the top of the flower to reach the nectar.

I hope you enjoyed this celebration of fall too.

Jewelweed

Buffy and I took some time to visit Glen O. Jones Lake for an easy hike. It was sunny, windy with a comfortable temperature. The water level was still low from our drought, and the bare sides of the lake had grown up with thick vegetation.

Jewelweed ( Impatiens capensis) grew in a large sprawling clump near the water’s edge. It’s an annual and is also called touch-me-not, because of the ways seeds scatter when a seed capsule is touched.

Up to 3 flowers bloom on drooping pedicels on the upper part of the plant. The flower are 1 inch long.

Insects would have to go into the flower to find the nectar. This way they pass a cluster of stamens underneath the ovary at the mouth of the flower.

Only the head and thorax of this bumblebee fit inside the flower. With stopping at several flowers, it would pick up and deposit pollen with each one it visited. Butterflies and hummingbirds also visit jewelweed.

Jewelweed grows in moist shady areas. There’s a less common yellow one that I’ve seen growing in swamps. The plants have a weak succulent stem that breaks easily. The juice from the stem helps to relieve itching from poison ivy.