top of page

September 2023 through Autumn Equinox

A newly hatched Eastern Black Swallowtail on Sept. 5th-

This is the hatchling from the mystery chrysalis that was on our bronze fennel plant. (See last month's post.) We saw a plump green caterpillar on the bronze fennel plant for a few days in late August and then he was gone. Normally, the caterpillars leave the host plant to build their chrysalis. Perhaps he felt safe on this fairly tall plant. It is about four feet tall. This photo was taken on the morning that he hatched. We were very disappointed that we missed him emerging from the chrysalis. We were drinking coffee in the back room just a few feet away with glass doors and didn't notice until we stepped outside to check on the chrysalis. He stayed fairly still for about an hour before he flew away. You can see the shell of the cocoon below and to the right of the butterfly.

Honey or ringless Mushrooms? A Google search leads me to believe that's what these are. I took the photo on Aug. 31st. These parasitic mushrooms are known to appear in the Fall and grow on the base of trees. This stump belonged to a Chinese privet that we cut down. I know very little about mushrooms. Please share, if you know what these are.

The backyard looking revived after a gentle rain on Sept. 2nd. The Boston ivy on the garage went brown after the heat and lack of rain in August. I really need to stop calling it a garage. This is actually used as a workshop building for Ian. I have never parked a car in it. It makes me chuckle. The one time I resolved to protect my car in the "garage" from an impending storm; I came home to find the next door neighbor's small weeping tree had been knocked flat onto the driveway, so I couldn't enter.

Sept. 1st, Moving on to sunnier areas in the front yard. The Carmine gomphrena are still going strong. The morning sunlight highlights the pink grass florets behind the gomphrena. I'm not sure if this is a muhly grass or purple love grass. It self seeded. Either way, it picked a lovely spot.

Our hot dry spell in August accelerated the fall color on this group of yellow twigged dogwoods, Arctic Sun. Photo taken Sept. 2nd.

A Clouded Sulfur is enjoying the autumn sage, salvia greggii on Sept 1st. I recently learned that this butterfly uses Baptisia as one of their host plants.

Sept. 13th, American Painted Lady- Note the two large eyespots. This distinguishes the American Painted Lady from the Painted Lady. The Painted Lady has four small eye spots in a row. I missed a great identification moment with the camera when one of each were feeding side by side, but they flew away.

A female Ruby-throated hummingbird on the cozy Autumn Equinox morning. She is feeding on the Black and Blue sage, salvia guaranitica. This photo is a liittle deceiving. Its actually a rainy day with the impact of tropical storm, Ophelia.

Look closely and you will find the same hummingbird in the foliage as she approaches a salvia greggii blossom near the Black and Blue sage. Her emerald colored back is a beautiful camouflage.

We are enjoying a cool spell with Ophelia's rain on our first full day of Autumn. Next week promises to be very pleasant with most highs in the seventies. We are doing a lot of Fall planting in the front yard next door. I can only describe the current condition as barren. I will post some photos on the next blog entry. We have a plan!

Happy gardening!


bottom of page