I just happen to look out one of our upstairs windows yesterday and spotted this butterfly enjoying the blooms on a Butterfly Bush! I removed the screen from the window and tried to capture her as she moved from flower to flower. The sun was in the west, which backlit this little girl.
I believe she is a Variegated Fritillary, but I can’t be sure. Years ago I found a great web-site that helps you identify butterflies. Here is the link: Identify Butterflies.
She had a hard time trying to stay away from a yellow jacket that didn’t want her there.
During the last few days, some hummingbirds have found their way back to our yard. I made a batch of Hummingbird syrup (4 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar) and hung the feeder. Didn’t take long for them to start their display fights over this source of food.
This behavior of fighting over the feeder is fun to watch and provides great opportunities for photos; however it is also bewildering to me. Why do they spend so much of their energy chasing each other away when all they have to do is share?
Always looking for in-coming rivals!
Enjoying some syrup without being harassed by bees!
The elusive male. I will capture a better photo of you, I promise. I wasn’t fast enough to focus on him. He seems to hide on the far side of the feeder, zips in to take a few sips then zips away. He never lights on a tree branch in the yard. Just wanted to show you – he is here.
~Western Swallowtail Butterfly
I put a little syrup in the top of the Hummingbird feeder to try and keep the Wasps and Yellow Jackets from drinking from the holes below. They harass the Hummers and were harassing this beautiful Swallowtail. It appears, from the photo below, that they are trying to sting the butterfly. Dam them!
I haven’t seen a butterfly drink from a Hummer feeder before.
Not a real sharp shot, but it is interesting. It decided to move down to drink from the holes, perhaps trying to get away from the bees. Notice how it is holding on to the feeder.
Notice the bee below the Swallowtail.
Something strange was happening over night. I put syrup in the feeder early each morning and the next morning it would be ALL gone. Not a drop left. I have the feeder hanging on a medal rod, which is suspended many feet off the ground. There is no way that it can be reached from the ground.
At first we thought Raccoons were somehow getting to the feeder from out deck, but since nothing else is disturbed and all the liquid is gone we now think it might be bats drinking from the feeder. That would be cool to see. We now take the feeder down every night.
This photo speaks, peace, to me…
The last couple of years have been good to the rabbits in our area. I think their natural predators, because of increased building in the surrounding areas, have moved out. We use to see coyotes and fox passing through, but haven’t in awhile. However, we do have black bear and bob cats, which causes us to put the garbage can in the garage each night. Maybe they don’t like rabbit!
Header photo: Enjoying a moment at dusk.
A fun few hours taking photos in my yard. I hope you enjoyed them.
I took these photos last year on May 4, 2014. The beautiful Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly was enjoying nectar from a tree in our yard. This May 4th is very different!
Today, it has been rainy and cool; I feel as if Spring hasn’t arrived yet in northern Colorado. We have had lots of rain, which is good, but it brings cool, gloomy days. Our flowering trees haven’t bloomed, the sumacs are just starting to leaf out and I haven’t seen any butterflies.
We arrived back home in early April and discovered that we had lost a few of our trees and shrubs – a Radiant Crabapple and a Cherry tree. These two trees were planted many, many years ago, have bloomed every year to our delight and to the delight of many species of bird, butterfly and honey bee. I am truly saddened by, losing them.
They died over the winter, we are guessing, due to lack of moisture, but not sure. We have noticed, driving around town, that many of the local pine trees have died. Luckily, none of our pines seem to have been affected by the weather conditions of this past winter.
On a happier note we have many birds visiting our yard and especially enjoying some of the birdbaths we keep filled for them. One of the birdbaths we can see from our dining table and early each morning, while drinking coffee, we are entertained by many of them taking a bath.
It is funny to observe the different techniques each species of bird seems to have for bathing (not sure if this extends to individual birds). The American Robin will jump right in, splash and splash until we think all the water has been emptied out; the Western Scrub Jay will jump in, splash a couple of times, hop out and up on a branch in a big Blue Spruce where it sits for a few seconds and then repeats its’ steps; the Black-headed Chickadee, with sit on the rim of the birdbath, look around for quite awhile and then deciding it is safe will jump in where it splashes around giving itself a really good bath.
I few of the migrating birds I can’t wait to see each spring are back – the Townsend Solitary, Western Kingbird, Bullock’s Oriole, Lazuli Bunting, White-crowned Sparrow just to list a few. I haven’t seen any Hummingbirds yet. Hopefully, I will capture a few photos of them.
Speaking of migrating, we are enjoying being back home and have settled into our “being home” routines. This past Sunday, I completed a four week Pickleball class, which I truly enjoyed and I look forward to playing the game during the next several months. I have been buying a few house plants and can’t wait to start planting in my flower gardens (when it warms up enough).
Howard has been having fun with electronic projects (building things using Arduino micro-controllers) and enjoying his Ham Radio. We walk the “girls” two miles everyday and go to the gym three/four times a week, so hopefully we will keep fit!
Just a few rambling notes on this 4th day of May. Hurry up Spring, we’re waiting!
I hope, wherever you might be, you are enjoying your Spring!