Friday, September 24, 2010

Wonderful Wildflowers of Fall


Magnificent colonies of beautiful goldenrod and sprinklings of purple ironweed are blooming all along America's highways and byways at this time of year. I was delighted when ironweed/Veronia gigantea volunteered in the garden in contrast to the goldenrod. Thank you birdies, my most probable benefactors. 
Swamp Sunflower
You may also notice stands of Helianthus augustifolius, yellow daisy-like flowers, commonly called swamp sunflowers.

Wild Ageratum/Floss Flower
Floss flower is now in its prime also. 

There is some in my garden around the pool.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Although it is not a wildflower but just as carefree, Sedum 'Autumn Joy' is making a show.

I moved the tender hibiscus and lantana to the sunniest, warmest location to encourage continued bloom.


Cypress Vine/Ipomea quamoclit

Hummingbirds passing through can continue to feed on the abundant cypress vine, a wild morning glory.

Perched on the pink turtlehead/Chelone lyonii   is a praying mantis ready to snap up a meal.

We seldom see or hear the barred owl, but about 4:30 this morning I heard him just outside my bedroom window in the dogwood tree. Once you watch the video and hear his call, he is easily recognized by call alone. I'm glad to know he is still out there somewhere.

May all your weeds be wildflowers.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tersa Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

Marked with false eyes to emulate predator instead of prey, the Tersa sphinx moth caterpillar is well protected. His color blends with his surroundings making him almost invisible. Trying my best to remove them, I missed one and he kept munching away on the pentas and at this stage has turned gray. Retracting his head and mouth parts when disturbed, makes its false eyes appear even larger.

Without spinning a cocoon, it buries just beneath the loose soil and leaf litter to pupate. These moths are unusual in that they are day feeders of honeysuckle and four o'clocks for example.