Winners because field finds at this time of year are soft and magical and oh so needed for the wildlife. In between the images of the wild growing plants, you will see slices of garden life. Hope you find what is blooming to be just as nice as if it were planted on purpose. I can tell you, the wildlife does. Don’t the weeds take on a new life in a framed image?
The garden is quite pretty this time of year with the hydrangea, Caryopteris, Asters, Phlox and Roses in full swing, but I do show the full garden quite often and just did so at the beginning of the month with What to Plant for When the Weather is Dry.
To me, this time of year the insects and weeds need a showing. I find the weeds fascinating due to their survival methods. Some flourish in this type of dry weather with deep growing tap roots. Weeds grow more slowly in these conditions and also develop thicker cuticle on the leaf surface to control water loss. What can’t get out can also not get in, limiting herbicide control for some weeds. But this post is more about celebrating weeds for their contribution of getting insects through a dry summer.
The Caryopteris below is a bee and butterfly magnet, but only because it is in the garden at this time of year. I have four of these planted in the side yard where it could not be any more hot and dry.
The thing about dry weather, is that it is not the same the world over. I have been reading comments (not from a reader here) that try to ‘one up’ on the dry conditions by making comparisons and saying one climate is not as dry as another. Like saying we have dry weather here is just not any type of drought condition. The farmers would beg to differ.
What really matters is what plants are growing in those conditions. Mediterranean climates are much better suited with adapting native plants to dry summers than say temperate climates (crop belts) with what grows there if rainfall is limited and insufficient. Just thought to add this … let’s get on with my photos…
The Pasture Thistle below is a plant that attracts many insects. All you have to do is stand motionless and they will come.
This is a long post, so I hope you have some time. I usually split up my garden and the field finds, but this year, with the weather so dry, the insects are taking what they can get. What is most available and blooming is weeds, or at least what most folks call them. The juxtaposition of desirable plants and those not so makes no difference to the insects and birds. They are just happy to get a meal.
I have four varieties of Aster and they come in different sizes to please big and little buzzers. Hybrids, these asters have their weed counterparts in the fields.
Native to Eastern and southern Asia, one variety is native to here in the US according to the USDA list, Caryopteris Bunge. Many believe this plant above is a native plant, Caryopteris x clandonensis, yet it is not. They self seed like crazy, so beware. They attract bees like crazy too.
The Monarda in the rain…. It is a hybrid, but also native to most of the US. It runs so it can overtake a bed in no time flat.
A cardinal in the rain… one of my favorite birds of the North East, especially in winter. No prettier shot of this bird can be taken than one in the snow.
Whether a weed is a friend or foe to us, it benefits some organism in the complex chain of life. And for me… it makes for a pretty photo opportunity. I look at the weed above and see the complex shape and form, the way the sun adds a touch of gold, and how big was the seed head. Maybe not as pretty as my roses, but then again, maybe it is. It is all the perspective on things I guess. This plant can live in conditions where the rose cannot. It has survival attributes that the hybrid rose does not.
Kinda like a squirrel, they assimilate just about anywhere they can get a free meal. A squirrel in the bird food… if you missed the Happy Monday post, Shock and Awe, Squirrel Style, which is on the humorous side, check it out for a funny squirrel tale. It is so funny what they do all day.
Dry or fresh, the yarrow is a pretty photo subject, but just ask any insect and they will tell you it is a great food source.
Tiny Sweat Bee on my littlest Aster.
What can I say, this caught my eye.
The bird bath is getting a bath… and catching a few raindrops. Yes, we have been having some much needed rain. But not enough to equal what we should be getting. Trees will be affected next year and I am betting the stressed maples produce a lot of seed.
The colors are so relaxing.
A feather in flight… without its Sparrow. That is what happens when a hundred Sparrows take flight!
Yellow and white, such a happy pair. Not to mention an insect paradise.
Oh, don’t you love when the hummers visit. This was taken at 3 pm on August 12th. I have no clue how these birds can tell time, but they show up on the hour pretty often.
So soft, you want to touch it.
Ailanthus Webworm was all over the Phlox last year, but this year there are multitudes of them on the Veronica. No Tree of Heaven in this neighborhood, luckily. I was literally eye to eye with this moth. They are about 3/4 long, and my macro lens was six inches away. No zooming on this lens or you would see his face much closer.
Can you see why I like fields and meadows. The insects like them too.
This Carpenter Bee is really loaded down. His flight was a bit iffy. He just left the Monarda, a plant that pumps out pollen like a spouting oil well.
Do you think it is rude to take a butt shot? I saw this on another blog and he said it was rude. I’m not so sure the bee would be at all offended.
A little wind gives a nice angle.
This was some strange lighting on the Bloodgood, but it made an interesting photo.
Grasses are the most pleasing at this time of year with form and color.
The hummers like the nectar, and visit the Monarda a couple of times a day. All the hummer photos were taken at different times. You will see a post coming up where I had the camera on Continuous shoot, following around one hummingbird. I am going to try to make a still video out of the hundred or so images. If I do this right, it will be like a video documentary. My movie making skills are poor, but we will see. I do have a video camera too. Maybe, I’ll try that for a change.
Snails are not so common here, but their naked cousins, the slugs are.
I find Chicory as pretty as cultivated asters, but their growing habit is not very aesthetically pleasing.
My favorite image. Such a delicate looking scene and I love the lighting too. Thank you for making it to the end of my very long photo packed post. I appreciate the time you took viewing.