We currently have in the monarch caterpillar hampers fourteen chrysalides, eleven in "j" positionand twelve caterpillars. We released one male butterfly today, and a female eclosed in the afternoon. The two caterpillars in the image above are chewing on a narrow milkweed stalk, while a third one is eating another leaf. All three of them went into "j" mode this evening. It's so interesting when the caterpillars contort themselves into many positions to pull down the leaves to
It was such a delight to discover sleeping bees around our mostly California garden patch this morning. Seeing these bees at rest on flowers and leaves gives such a fulfilling feeling, to know that we are creating a habitat that wasn't in the yard when we moved here more than one and a half years ago. In the above image a Summer Longhorn male bee is sleeping on a blossom of the Cosmic Evolution Coreopsis plant. Here is another Summer Longhorn male bee sleeping on another blos
Oh how the umber skippers Poanes melane love to rest on the borage leaves. I recently purchased two borage plants because the borage we had just didn't reseed. The two plants we had transplanted to the native garden patch last year bloomed shortly, then dried up. And now that these new plants are thriving, the skippers have more leaves and blossoms to visit.
This month we seem to have a lot of Longhorn Bee visitors in our mostly California native garden. Based on the regular thick bands on the abdomen, this must be a Eucera, member of the Apides group of bees. Look at those fuzzy legs.
This male Summer Longhorn Bee Eucera , part of the Apidae group, slept in the same Cosmos bipinnatus 'Cupcakes White' blossom for several days. I would see it sleeping there in the mornings, gone during the day, then back again in the evening. Look at the long antennae on the bee! Hence the name. The peak flight period for these bees is from late June to early August, but they should still be around in September. It's very interesting that the female Summer Longhorn Bees are
Oh those funny caterpillars. These three are enjoying the buds of milkweed flowers. They must be so delicious! I know this may sound weird, but the caterpillars definitely have different personalities. This one is quite plump and growing fast, savoring the milkweed blossom buds all by itself. These two are munching on the stem of a narrow leaf milkweed stem. Meanwhile three more caterpillars have pupated. Three buddies all in a row.
So we started to create this garden one and a half years ago. And the pollinators come. Above is an umber skipper Poanes melane on a blossom of our Verbena lilacina ‘De La Mina’ shrub. This shrub is a California native, discovered on Cedros Island off the west coast of Baja California by horticulturist Carol Bornstein. At last the California fuschia Epilobium 'Schieffelin's Choice' is blooming again. It grows close to ground to about 8 inches high and is a hummingbird favorit
Look who was in a cosmos cupcake blossom this weekend. I was so happy to see this Summer Long-Horned female bee Melissodes robustior. Look at her distinctive hairy scopa (basket), the fuzzy bright yellow elongated oval shape to the left of her abdomen. This is where she stores pollen. The peak flight season for these bees is from late June to early August. The preferred flowers for the females are asters, coreopsis, cosmos, helianthus and rudbeckia for pollen. For nectar they
Oh, how lovely he is. Late this morning both monarchs emerged in good shape. They are both males. Monarch male number one emerged at 10.30 am and monarch male number two emerged eight minutes later. Monarch male number two, on the left is emerging from its chrysalis, while monarch male number one is drying his wings. Just two guys hanging out, drying their wings. As you can see, monarch male number one is slightly larger than monarch male number two. Several hours later they