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Transitions: Coming of Autumn

A magical hummingbird moth on Sept. 21st. I can't believe that the camera caught his curled probiscus. That is truly special.

It looks like our Indian summer has been delayed or will even be skipped this year. As I write this post, I'm looking out onto a backyard with only a few pops of color. Many plants aren't spending energy on flowers as they conserve their resources for survival in the heat and dryness. WRAL posted this headline just hours before Autumn Equinox, "RDU ties century-old record high of 98 degrees on summer-like first day of fall". Conversely, we are waiting for a cold front to arrive this afternoon which will bring us a high of only 73 degrees tomorrow. (The cold front is arriving as I write this with lots of wind. Oh my goodness, is it actually rain?!?)

I, like many people have been absorbed by the passing of the Queen and King Charles' accession to the throne. The world witnessed the bittersweet passing of her Majesty complete with historic traditions, pomp, and rainbows over castles. The formal proclamation of King Charles occurred at the time of the Sept. full moon. Amidst, all of the emotions I turned to nature and was rewarded with beautiful pollinators visiting the white butterfly bush and the lantana hedge.

The angle of the light highlighted the velvety blue/greens of this Long tailed skipper on Sept. 9th.

Late August and September are often our best months for butterfly viewing. Let the butterfly parade begin!

Eastern black swallowtail

The distinctive, Zebra swallowtail. They are most always in motion even when feeding.

Cloudless sulphur butterfly feeding on the zinnias.

They also enjoy the autumn sage.

Buckeye feeding on a new favorite for me, Truffula Pink gomphrena.

Tiger Swallowtails

Golden rod is a reliable bloomer in September. It copes well with the heat and dryness. This is a patch that has self seeded behind our white butterfly bush.

Ian's Heavenly Blue morning glory is aptly named. I call it Ian's because he is the vine guy in our household. He seems to have the magic touch for growing vines. He trained this one through the ligustrum hedge next door.

The rain has passed, so it's back to September blue skies. Happy Autumn Equinox!


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