The garden is alive…

With the sounds of nature all around me. The wildlife is abundant in my yard this time of year with the birds, bees, butterflies and other various insects that visit my garden daily. Here is what I discovered in my garden in just a few minutes of strolling through the beds.

This Bumblebee is happily searching for pollen in the tubular shaped blossoms of this Physostegia virginiana ‘Obedient Plant’. There were several of them actually dipping and diving into the blooms this afternoon. I love those little speckles inside the flowers. I’ve heard other gardeners call them fairy footprints. What a lovely thought.

I know this is some type of Swallowtail Butterfly but that is all I know. He was sunbathing himself on this large Squash leaf. Pay no attention to the leaf please, after I took this photo I removed this slightly discolored & possibly diseased foliage. But I’m happy with the picture! πŸ™‚

Now I got really excited to see this little creature in my garden today. I’ve seen a few hummingbirds flitting around, but this is the first hummingbird moth that I have seen in my garden ever! He was really interested in the Verbena canadensis ‘Rose Verbena’ or ‘Creeping Verbain’. I will definitely plant this annual next year because the butterflies and this guy love it! I was hoping for a better photo, but about that time Spaz (my terrier) came along and started sniffing him and he flew off. πŸ™‚

This little guy is a moth, right? I got a really good closeup of him. You can even see his little face and legs. He was taking a breather on the Nandina in my front garden bed. It didn’t even faze him when I got really close to take this picture. I guess he wasn’t scared of me. πŸ™‚

Last but not least is this scary guy. I don’t know what kind of spider this is, but he or she is pretty colorful. Now I did slightly zoom in this shot so you could see the details on the body. The web is even visible which makes me happy. It was a big web and there was even a small cocooned insect waiting to be devoured later. Hopefully it wasn’t a beneficial insect. What kinds of insects do you have buzzing around your garden this time of year?


25 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by cindee on August 11, 2008 at 4:49 am

    What a great Monday post!!! Those spiders are fun to watch(-:


  2. Posted by Jean on August 11, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Great “bug” shots! Your garden is certainly full of wonderful creatures! Jean


  3. Posted by tina on August 11, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I haven’t seen any of the garden spiders like your yellow one, but plenty of moths, bees and butterflies. I like them all-except ticks! Those are the worst! Great pics!


  4. Posted by Meadowview Thymes on August 11, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    We have lots of bees (yea!!) but not many butterflies! I can’t figure out why. What I really love are the birds–all kinds, but expecially the hummingbirds!
    Love the sights and sounds of your garden!


  5. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks Cindee, I'm glad you enjoyed my nature post. Those spiders fascinate me with their intricate webs.

    Thanks Jean. I'm glad you enjoyed my bug photos today. I couldn't believe how many wonderful creatures visited my garden yesterday.

    The variety of creatures is amazing Tina. Mosquitos & Ticks are ones I can live without too. πŸ™‚ That spider was scary! Thanks I'm glad you liked the pics.

    Bees are very important to a garden Linda. I've heard other bloggers mention not seeing alot of butterflies this year, but I have been lucky in that aspect. Birds are wonderful too, I love watching them play in the birdbaths & at the feeders.


  6. Posted by Andrea on August 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    That’s a good sign in your garden if you have so much little wildlife co existing. It means everyone is healthy, happy and youcna see that’s apparent there. Nice job.


  7. Posted by Susie on August 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I’m so glad you got a picture of that hummingbird moth. Aren’t they the neatest things? I don’t know the official name of your spider. I just call it a garden spider. Their webs are so tough.

    P.G.-After I read your post on the orange aphids I checked my butterfly weed and low and behold I had the same problem. Needless to say I whipped out that water hose and went at them.

    They probably found their way back to their new home but today it is pouring rain(hooray) so I can’t check.


  8. Posted by Kathleen on August 11, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    August really is a busy month in the garden isn’t it? You’ve captured that in your post. Wish I had that gorgeous swallowtail in my yard. I haven’t seen many butterflies either this year. The hummingbirds arrived a couple weeks ago and they are entertaining us now. and of course the bumblebees, honey bees and the not so fun yellow jackets are all over the place.


  9. Posted by OhioMom on August 11, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Cool pics daughter, I have been trying to get one of the bumble bees on my cinnamon basil, but my “zoom” skills are lacking πŸ™‚


  10. Posted by Rose on August 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Lovely photos, PG! I am jealous of your hummingbird moth:) I have yet to see one here. The spider looks like an orb weaver of some type–they weave sort of a curlicue web that hangs down. They’re interesting creatures to watch.
    I’ve found butterflies are not always as easy to photograph as I thought–their wings keep moving! You did a great job catching one with its wings spread out.


  11. Posted by Sara G on August 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Just found your site! You take beautiful pictures. We just bought some perennials for a small flower garden this weekend!! Now to get the sod cutter and get the project started!
    Take care


  12. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks Andrea! I was hoping that was a good sign with all my little visitors on a daily basis.

    Thanks Susie, I was thrilled to get that hummingbird moth shot. They are so interesting, until everyone else started posting pics of them on their blogs I had never seed one before this year. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention in the past. πŸ™‚ I think the Aphids really are drawn to milkweeds & butterflies as their main food source. I squirted them too but some came back. 😦 I'm going to try the banana peel thing today. Cross your fingers!

    It's a very busy month for the wildlife Kathleen. Maybe they are storing up for the winter. I've been lucky with the butterflies. They really like most of the plants I have in my garden. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Mom! I'm glad you enjoyed the pics today. I had to play around with my camera before I figured out the whole zoom thing too. πŸ™‚

    Aw, how sweet Rose! Thank you. I was pretty pleased with my first glimpse of a hummingbird moth in my yard! And the picture wasn't too shabby either. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the info on that spider. I know nothing about spiders, but the coloring on this one was cool! Butterflies can be tricky to photograph, some are really nervous when you get too close. This one didn't seem to mind me taking his picture. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Sara, I'm glad you like my amateur photography skills. I just started using this camera 3 mos. ago. It was a X-MAS present last year. πŸ™‚ Good luck with your new perennial bed. Post pictures soon, look forward to seeing your blooms!


  13. Posted by Roses and Lilacs on August 11, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I believe your spider is a golden garden spider argiope aurantia. As kids we called them writing spiders because they write messages in their web (in spider language of course:). This must be the Charlotte, made famous by the book.


  14. Posted by lacey on August 11, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Ooh … great photos! Yesterday afternoon I saw a hummingbird eating from my penstemon and my neighbor’s zinnias, but I didn’t have my camera with me. I wish I had … I love to see all the critters that come into gardens!


  15. Posted by Cindy on August 11, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Wicked looking spider picture! I believe your butterfly is a Black Swallowtail. So beautiful, I wish the butterflies would find my garden this year….

    I love the hummingbird moth. They are so much fun to watch. I have yet to see any of them this year either. What time of day was it when you stumbled upon him?


  16. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 11, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks Marnie. I figured someone out there in blogging land might know what kind of spider it might be. So I have a Charlotte’s Web in my garden? πŸ™‚

    That happens to me all the time Lacey! πŸ™‚ I see something (like a hummingbird) and no camera with me at the time. I love hummingbirds. I haven’t managed to get a picture of one this year yet.

    Thanks Cindy! Someone else said it was a Golden Garden Spider or writing spider (like Charlotte). Thanks for the identification of the butterfly. It was early afternoon when I got the picture of the hummingbird moth. πŸ™‚


  17. Posted by Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage on August 12, 2008 at 2:01 am

    You know I think the little one is a skipper butterfly. It looks a lot like the skippers we have here. You are so fortunate to have hummingbird moths. I’ve NEVER seen one in person. And your swallowtail! Gosh, that’s gorgeous! It’s like a negative of the ones we have here. πŸ™‚



  18. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 12, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Thanks Cindy, I'm not always sure about the difference between some of the smaller butterflies & moths. That was the first hummingbird moth I've ever seen in person! He was a gorgeous specimen that swallowtail. I got a great picture of a Monarch today!


  19. Posted by Naturegirl on August 12, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Ahh.. bugs n blooms seem to go together. Oh my how observant you’ve been..look at all these wonderful visitors to your garden! The spider is quite interesting and the hummer..well I’ve never seen one ever!! Great post! hugs NG


  20. Posted by Greg on August 12, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Your insect photos are absolutely incredible!!

    Did you know you can upload them to and have them identified for you? You should totally check it out–I love learning who’s making a home in my garden!


  21. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 12, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks NG. I was just doing my afternoon walkthru of the garden, observing what was going on in the garden. I love all the visitors that my garden attracts. I found the Spider & the Hummingbird Moth quite amazing myself. πŸ™‚

    Thanks Greg for the great info. I'm glad you loved my pictures. I was pleased with them myself, I'm still new to this photography thing. πŸ™‚


  22. Posted by gardenpath on August 12, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Good to see the sun on a garden. We have had lots of rain lately. A good collection of garden visitors!


  23. Posted by The Hunky Gardener on August 13, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Wow! That spider was in your garden! Yowzers! We don’t have anything that big or sinister lurking in gardens around here!

    Cheers Perennial Gardener! Garden till ya drop!


  24. Posted by Perennial Gardener on August 13, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Thanks GP. We were in a dry spell until this past Sunday when we got a good downpour. The garden needed it.

    Yep he was a big on HG. He wasn’t necessarily sinister just alittle scary. πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting and Happy Blogging to you!


  25. Posted by Karen on August 13, 2008 at 5:21 am

    I am so impressed with your bug shots, it’s making me want a new camera very much… so cool to be able to see those critters at such close range! We have bees, wasps, butterflies (only a very few), moths (nothing special, mostly cabbage moths), and hummingbirds in the garden. Jays, flickers, chickadees, and noisy old crows in the trees. It can get pretty cacophanous out there sometimes!

    Thanks for visiting my site! I hope you’ll come back sometime when I’ve had a chance to put a few more posts up.

    Cheers and happy gardening,


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