Monday, July 26, 2010

Flowers and bugs and July, oh my!

Another day, another walk around the farm. Perfect weather today: not too hot, breezy, sunny and none of that damn humidity in which we've been suffocating as of late!

The Beaudette River at the back of our farm. I love it back here. I wish the mosquitoes and deerfly didn't!!

Ladybug on wild parsnip (pastinaca sativa.) Some people get a skin irritation from the leaves of this plant, but I am apparently not amongst them. You can dig up and eat the parnsip-y roots!

I think this is pinesap (monotropa hypopitys). It likes to grow in dry coniferous forests (like our white pine and white spruce woodlot), and completely lacks chlorophyll:

And can you spot the fellow crawing on this wild parsnip plant?

Here he's is, all incognito:


It's the caterpillar of the black swallowtail butterfly! Strikingly attractive, no?

Meanwhile, my honeybees are foraging far and wide. This one likes thistle!

And who's this?

Back in the garden, a green bottle fly looks rather nice on a brown-eyed Susan (or is it black-eyed?)

A gorgeous ebony jewel-wing damselfly!

A bluejay left something behind in our woods.

This is a swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata) related to...

...the butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) planted in my garden!

My honeybees love it!

See her reddish, straw-like tongue, sucking nectar from the flower?

I love my honeybees and am glad they are doing so much better this year. I expect to get some honey off them later this summer.

Have a good week!


  1. I didn't realize that the swallowtail caterpillars were such fat, juicy fellas! Still cute though!

  2. Anonymous6:26 pm

    Lovely, lovely! I haven't seen any butterflies this summer. Wonder if it's too hot. I have plenty of butterfly-friendly flowers. The hummingbirds are regulars.

    This afternoon I looked outside and there was a large, gorgeous owl sitting in my backyard grass. Weird. Don't know if he was looking for water or chipmunks.

    Oh--I bought one of those Off mosquito fans for my husband to wear and he says that of all the crazy things I've bought, this one actually works. Not sure whether it helps with deer flies though. Those things are so irritating. Should have mailed you the spider.

  3. Lovely shots!Just curious...what you call Pinesap look like Indian Pipes to me. Same thing?

  4. John, that's actually the river!

  5. Ronna, I thought they were InNdian pipes too at first -- they are very, very similar. I looked in my wildflower book. Apparently Indian pipes are whiter, pinesap more yellow, and they grow in different types of forest (I think Indian pipes grow in moisture hardwood forest?)

  6. Shelley, I bet my chickens would love a nice juicy caterpillar like that. I wonder if they taste bad (not that i plan to try them!)

    Marylee, I wonder if it is the heat? Or if some years the butterflies do better than in others? Glad you have hummingbirds -- I love them!

    I haven't heard of those mosquito fans! I will have to google them. Do you have a brand name? I'm sure it would help with deer flies.

    Yes, send your next spider on a trip to Canada. :)

  7. Both Pinesap and Indian Pipe may have variably coloured stems. And they may actually be the same species (or pinesap could be split into four or five... the botanists keep changing their minds). The easiest way to tell them apart is when they are flowering. Indian Pipe always has a single flower on each stalk; Pinesap has a minimum of two flowers and frequently more.

  8. love them all but the ladybug the most!

  9. Gorgeous shots as usual, such great close-ups. You have a good eye. Well, two actually.

  10. You certainly captured some beautiful shots. I love the caterpillar, beautiful! The butterfly weed is gorgeous, I've never seen it before.
    Your surroundings are just lovely.

  11. My dad got the worst skin rash from the wild parsnip. I didn't - lucky me! And it gave a great yellow dye.
    Wonderful photos.

  12. What a beautifu tour! We were lucky to see the moth that produced the caterpillars I photographed last month. An utter treat to see a rare moth in our neck of the woods

  13. That was a great post! Loved it!

  14. Thanks for all the compliments!! FreshIsle, I'll have to try dying my rug hooking wool with wild parsnip.

    Randy, welcome! Your blog is great.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!