Sunday, July 22, 2012

Butterflies and banana spiders

My, I had fun this morning! The back garden was just a-flutterin’. Several Gulf Fritillaries were enjoying the Purple Coneflowers, making the almost roseless garden a happier place for the gardener.

I was so surprised by their constant wing-flapping.
They did not sit still and pose for these. Flap, flap, flap.
It was no bother at all to keep pressing the shutter. Click, click, click.
Seeking the perfect image.
Close but no cigar.
Perhaps closer.
This isn't the age old problem of "someone moved". Mr. Blur was frantically trying to get a spot on the other guy's flower, but he must have been sending out some territorial vibes, because Mr. Blur never landed.
We may have a winner.
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You know, if these aren't enough to satisfy your butterfly appetite, I have a few dozen more.
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Two for one.
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I just can't stop.
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Alright, I'm under control now.
I believe this is a Honey Bee. The Bumble Bee wouldn't sit still at all.

Though it was only 86 degrees at this point, it felt pretty much like a sauna, and I was decidedly damp. My pajamas were stuck to my legs, and my arms were dripping. Isn’t Florida in the summer wonderful? Humidity notwithstanding, the garden really was an idyllic place this morning. I didn’t even walk through a spider’s web. Around here you have to carry a stick and wave it in front of you as you walk along. DH gets a good laugh watching me through his den window.

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You can barely see the web of this Banana Spider aka Golden Silk Spider aka Nephila clavipe, and if you look hard above the right roof edge, you'll see the inhabitant of this web herself. The interesting thing is the way a buds-bearing cane of 'Blush Noisette' has been pulled toward the spider with the silken threads of her web.
There she is seemingly support-less in thin air.
But the web really is there. I don't bother webs that are not in areas where I walk. These spiders are beneficial except for the willies they give me, so I leave them be.
The fading glory of 'Nur Mahal'.
The soon-to-be glorious 'Duchesse d'Auerstadt'.
This lady, along with several others, has strung her household from an azalea up to the eaves just like the fake stuff you see in the movies.
These caladiums were a stroke of brilliance last year to hide the bare ground and naked legs of 'Reve d'Or'. Unimpressive last year, they make a big impact this year, being about three feet tall with leaves well over a foot long.
'Gingerland' caladium is new this year and smaller than the one above. I think these won't be as big as the other. And I really love the coloring on Gingerland. He likes sun.
Before the tree trimming I moved 'Napoleon's clay pot out of the dead shade onto the patio. Poor guy had no leaves. He's leafed out in the meantime, and now this twiggy China has a flower. Happiness is...
You can see why they're called Golden Silk Spiders.
They're all over the place, and this one's about four inches long.

Just at dinnertime we had a nice downpour - again. Gee, it seems like old times in Florida since we're having these nearly daily rains. I thought I'd see if I could capture a wet web.

Here’s Mrs. Banana Spider. She’ll be doing some housework tonight since the rain knocked two big, round holes in her web. It’s always something, isn’t it?


  1. Stroke of brilliance indeed with the caladiums...

  2. Large numbers of butterflies in the garden are one of the best parts of summer.

  3. Hi Sherry, beautiful pictures! What kind of camera/lens did you use?

    I have tons of Gulf Fritillary this year, probably because I have so much passion vine growing (it was here naturally when I moved in and I've just let it go, the bees love it so much).

    We also have those garden spiders. Right now there is on on the side of my house. I'm not sure what she is doing there, no web. Maybe just looking for a good spot to lay her eggs.

    Take care...Bet (buford on GW)