In recent years I have often lamented the (near) absence of butterflies. Not this year. This is the year of the butterfly. When we move anywhere around the plantings in our yard, clouds of butterflies flock and swirl about us - I kid you not. First, a week or so ago, I noticed prodigious numbers of butterflies on our sage bush blossoms - at least four species (not that I could identify them you understand). For the past couple of days I've noted that the butterflies are mobbing on our in-bloom cilantro and on our masses of sedum in bloom - including at least a fifth species of butterfly. Unfortunately, I have neither the abilities nor the equipment to capture those flitting critters. Following are the best that I could manage (the winds don't help, either, with everything waving about in-and-out-of focus!)
The first five photos feature butterflies on sedum.
Turning to the sage bush: I guessed that there were about 100 butterflies on the bush when I snapped the left hand photo. If you tell me that you only see a couple - even after blowing up the photo by clicking on it - I won't think that you are calling me a liar. I can't see them, either. But...look at the right hand photo. It is a small area of the left hand photo, chosen at random to enlarge. Now...I can see at least four small butterflies (or they may be moths instead of skipper-type butterflies) and I am confident that there are more critters there than I can detect in the photo.
Now, I'll get back to what I really got the camera out to show you. First, below, is a photo of our first mum plant to bloom this year. Yes, I know one should pick off buds until July 4th in order to increase and stave off blooming until the fall; but, they showed color so freakishly early that I decided to let the mums go ahead and bloom. Perhaps they will bloom again, later in the year.
The right-hand photo shows the blanket roses that I put out about 10 years ago - without realizing that they would be growing in the shade once the chokeberry and vibernum bushes grew.