Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ahhh, those June Bees and Butterflies!


Saturday’s sunset. 95 degrees, real-feel.

At 8:30 p.m., still feeling perspiration and listening to air conditioners hum. We’ll no doubt hear crickets soon. Walk inside the house and feel the relief. Shower time.

Super gardener Annie in Austin identified large flowering shrubs that line the border between our property and neighbors next door. Evergreen Chinese Ligustrum, I believe is the name. Untrimmed, they could grow to twenty or thirty feet in height but now they only range from four to eight feet. The border stretches about one hundred feet on the northeast side and I like the privacy it gives. We don’t own the shrubs. The original neighbors trimmed them every year but the new owners probably don’t even know they are there. This is our third spring at this house and the first time they’ve bloomed white flowers, perhaps because they haven’t been trimmed. The birds will love the berries they might produce next winter.


It’s an invasive shrub with horrible reviews and I can understand why. The over-sweet fragrance is sickening and the pollen it produces can drive asthma and allergy sufferers mad. But the bees and butterflies are addicted to them like crack and remain in a drug-induced frenzy. Hence, I can’t resist the activity, either. After a brief photo-shoot in sizzling sun, I walk away with Chiggers stinging me and the camera lens. Damn. It’s worth it for a few minutes. What's a garden without birds, bees, and butterflies?

With Cheryl at My Wildlife Sanctuary and Sherry at Q's Corner in mind, who are the butterfly and bee queens, I post these photos. Hear the buzzzzzzz and imagine the flutters.



Clouded Sulphur




Bumble (my fave)



American Lady


Zebra Swallowtail (fast-moving - only one shot)


Black Swallowtail – female



Honey Bee (thousands)

Yes, I did fill the bird feeders on Saturday evening. More on THAT, later.


First visitor at the feeders on Sunday morning. No surprise, but...Oh, my. Anyone out there up on squirrel anatomy? :o/


Jayne said...

Beautiful flowers, bees, and flutterbys Mary! Has it rained there at all today? We've been deluged, but needed it. Hugs for a wonderful week ahead. :c)

NCmountainwoman said...

Lovely photos. We appreciate what you went through to get them for us.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
I love all of your bees! I can hear them too! Wonderful photos.
Lots of beautiful photos of the butterflies too. You know how I depend on the butterflies.
Do you get fireflies? Very soon they will be looking for mates.
I too love June. It is much cooler here, only 80 degrees today. Over 90 is for middle of July into August.
Drink lots of water...
Glad to know the feeding stations are open again.
Looking forward to a bird report.
Sherry, who dances with the bees and floats on butterfly wings

Mary said...

Jayne, we were threathened with large T-storms on Saturday afternoon/evening and I had my fingers crossed. The storms raged north and east...darn. We're getting dry again.

Carolyn, thanks. Wasn't too bad...just HOT. A few days ago we wore jackets and sweaters!

Sherry, June is hot here and the heat stays with us until October. We've had a very cool spring so far and I knew we'd sizzle soon :o)

BJ said...

Gorgeous pictures! Enjoyed every one of them!

Unknown said...

Mary I don't know what I love more birds or butterflies. I love your photos and If I had that bush I would keep just because it attracts such beauties. As for the Squirrel well I have no clue. I brought that baby up close and it appears to have a growth of some kind.

Annie in Austin said...

Mary, I admit to you that although I also love the privacy factor, it was absolutely infuriating to see clouds of Admirals on my neighbor's allergy-inducing ligustrum. They preferred it to the native plants I've bought for them! And there will be clouds of little ligustrum seedlings sprouting in every bed and border, needed to be weeded out.

When the cedar waxwings stop off to feast on the berries, however, I can't help but be glad someone is growing them where I can see all the action.

You caught all the intoxicated creatures so well- it reminds me of the orgasm scene in "When Harry Met Sally"..."I'll have what she's having!"

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

entoto said...

Oh, how I envy your variety of flowers, shrubs, and mostly butterflies!

Chrissy said...

Ooooo these are so beautiful photos. Thank you for posting these.

beckie said...

Mary, You did good girl! Great pictures and I am so impressed you know the names of the butterflies. I only know the monarch. Guess I should read up on them. I'm glad you have honey bees. Maybe they are starting to make a come back. Thanks for all you efforts. That squirrel-??

Susan Gets Native said...

That be a big ol' male squirrel, Miss Innocence. Rats, hamsters, squirrels....they all sport the Primo-Wedding-Package. Ball-O-Rama!
Maybe you can add a bit of saltpeter to your bird seed.

: 0 )

Mary C said...

Wow! So many different kinds of butterflies -- I'm lucky if I see half a dozen butterflies total in a year! Well, at least I see lots of bees, and of various sizes. But they don't sit still long enough for me to get a picture of them. The best I can do is get a house fly sitting on one of my flowers. LOL ;o)

Alyssa said...

Ugh, temps in the 90s! ! I hate to even think about that. You're lucky to have those great shrubs on your lot line. I really enjoyed seeing the butterflies and bees. We don't have too many yet but maybe this summer will be different then before. I hope your back is feeling better and I'm sorry you didn't have your mini-vacation. Since Steve and I work together (and consequently are together 24 hours a day !!) I REALLY look forward to some time for myself. And, yes, I've cleaned the bathroom at 11:30 PM a number of times when he's gone !!

Mary said...


Oh, My God. I'm glad you confirmed what I was thinking instead of having a deformed squirrel in the yard. I've never seen one of those before (on a squirrel) or been lucky? enough to get a shot at it :o)


Anonymous said...

I live in Southwest lower Michigan and I heard a cricket last evening. It's much too soon for that here. Love the pictures. Very beautiful.

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Beautiful pictures, Mary! I enjoyed this walk in your garden. With all that has been going on here lately, my garden is overgrown with weeds.

PJ said...

I'm a bee I was loving this. The array of butterflies is remarkable. I see one butterfly here and we all stop everything!

dguzman said...

Great pics!

Boy, the highs here are in the low 70s, and already it feels hot to my snow-acclimated body. I remember when I used to long for summer temps in the low 90s--for a relief from the heat!

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary....I have just died and gone to bee and butterfly heaven.
What a wonderful array of butterflies....absolutely stunning and I can't tell you how pleased I am to hear you have honeybees...

You are an angel and without doubt top of my best posts chart.

JeanMac said...

Always a treat to visit your blog!

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, you know far more about butterflies than I do. What lovely photos. I love the sunset shot at the beginning. Is that squirrel trying to tell us it's "The End" of this post? :)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mare,
As usual, your photos are fantastic. I have seen very few butterflies yet this spring and NO honeybees--even with all the dandelions in my yard! :-(

I'm glad Susan could ID your Mr. Squirrel (it looks more like a tumor to me!)

Q said...

Dear Mary ,
I came back over to see your Zebra Swallowtail again. I just adore them.
Happy New Lavender Moon!
Shall we dance with the bees??

Donna said...

Beautiful photos of the butterflys and bees, Mary! Your photos are outstanding.
We have ligustrum in our yard and they do get quite large. It does make a nice privacy hedge.

Larry said...

Beautiful photos Mary! Love the sunset photo! I'm sorry to hear that your bees and butterflies are addicted to crack.-perhaps you could offer them something to stabilize them while they break their addiction.You are so darned funny Mary.-BTW-like your new profile photo.

Anonymous said...

mary, such stunning bug photography and that sunset . . . wow! Keep up the good work!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That sunset is a knockout. So is the hedge despite its invasiveness. Love seeing those bees and butterflies too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,

Isn't it ridiculous that it's already this hot? It's supposed to be even hotter for the rest of the week, "record breaking heat".. sigh..

Your photos are awesome! That's a great shot of that Zebra Swallowtail -- I have tried and tried to get a photo of one here, and just haven't been able to capture it yet. They move too fast. :)

Julie Zickefoose said...

Science Chimp sez: female tiger swallowtail, black morph (not black swallowtail)

eee eee eee (low key attack; tired from traveling, loving having many posts stacked up to luxuriate in)

have missed you very much--no internet in North Dakota digs.

and was glad to see SGN set you straight on oversized rodent nuts, arf arf! Bleh! Big hug to you. Big ol' Baker fix--thanks for the summer girl faces, I needed them.