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Early June- Small Life in the Garden

Our abnormally dry weather conditions have abated! This has been a season of weather extremes. El Nino kept us unusually wet and then abruptly the rains stopped combined with near record high temperatures for late May. June 11th was idyllic here in Durham. A "cold" front brought dry cool air and beautiful sunshine. As we approach midsummer blossoms and small creatures are gracing the garden. Gardens in and of themselves are beautiful, but attracting wildlife and pollinators make them magical.

Water lily June 1st.

This year we have so many Green frogs that we practically have a chorus of croaks. Floating Green frog on June 1st

Green Frog June 1st Durham NC

Female Ruby-throated hummingbird, June 3rd. At the moment the preferred flower is the red bee balm instead of the Black and Blue sage. Perhaps she recognizes that she can have the sage nectar all summer long.

The gold finches love to drink from the hummingbird feeder's reservoir (ant moat), June 5th.

June 5th, Sigmoria trimaculata. We'll just call him a millipede. He's in the dry shade bed.

June 5th, Carpenter bee and passion flower vine or passiflora incarnata. These are native to the southeast, but in our yard I would call them invasive. You have to stay on top of the seedlings or they will take over. This year I think we will let only one seed head open. This is a host plant for the Variegated Fritillary. We have seen one caterpillar already. I have to say it's looking pretty tropical here when you see hummingbirds, passion flower vines and the bright yellow of the gold finch.

June 9th, Speaking of Variegated Fritillaries.... We think this is a fritillary chrysalis. I hope that we are around when the butterfly emerges. I've only seen that at the Museum of Life and Science which is in the neigborhood. The chrysalis has a metallic hue. He's right by the back door.

June 9th One of my favorites, the Hummingbird moth. He's peeking over the butterfly bush blossom. They are magical. Maybe a fairy will appear next.

June 10th, Variegated Fritillary I'll add this photo to the "Butterfly and Moth Compendium". He's sitting on an unidentified weed near the herb bed.

June 10th, Eastern Bumblebee and White Obedient plant, Crystal Peak. We also have the native purple Obedient plant which blooms late in the season.

June 11th, Painted Lady butterfly and echinacea

June 11th, Wild Bergamot and Silverstreak butterfly in lower right hand corner.

Last evening, I had the treat of a woods thrush singing on the apex of the garage. No photo though. We have thrashers, but rarely a thrush which is the real songster. Late night it was a cotton tail bunny and the raccoon which feeds on the squirrel food each night.

We are expecting more rain within the next couple of hours. I just transplanted a pink salvia seedling in the expectation that this is perfect timing with the rain.

Happy gardening!

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