My neighbors that share a fenceline with me have a hedge full of flowers right now that are attracting an abundance of butterflies that I get to appreciate daily. While these plants aren't directly in my garden, I'm going to count it anyways, because, while I don't find these butterflies collecting nectar from my garden right now, I do find them basking in the sun in between their sugary meals.
The most popular of the butterflies on this hedge are the red admirals (black, orange and white). I've seen as many as 100 or so butterflies on this hedge at one time! The shrubs just pulse with the multitude of wildlife that is enjoying their nectar. Besides the red admirals, I've spotted some common buckeyes...
...and painted ladies...
...and grey hairstreaks.
The main attraction in the garden right now is by far my hummingbirds. I've already dedicated an entire post to them, but I thought they needed to be highlighted here again. Here are some of my favorite pictures of my hummers...
I've had quite a few black-chinned hummingbirds as well as Anna hummingbirds.
They love frequenting the feeders in the morning and evenings.
I've seen other gardeners with many hummers feasting at a feeder at one time, but my birds tend to be extremely territorial and like to scare each other off so that they get the feeder all to themselves (the male black-chins are the worst culprits).
I've also spotted either a male ruby-throated hummingbird or Anna's hummingbird, but he doesn't appear to be a bit fan of the paparazzi.
Springtime has brought about a bunch of baby birds, and now that we are getting later into spring, the fledglings have been pushed from their nests and have started working on their adult life skills.
This fledgling mockingbird has already learned to seek shelter in the oleanders out front to keep away from predators and paparazzi, but I still got a picture of him as he fled the safety of the oleander in search of his momma.
I also saw the last of the American robins before they took off for some cooler summer weather up north.
The hummingbirds aren't the only ones that have been enjoying the hummingbird feeders. I'm not quite sure who I've been feeding more... the hummers or the bees. At this rate, I should start keeping bees. I'm already feeding them, I might as well reap the rewards in liquid gold (aka honey). Yeah... if only I had time for that.
When the bees aren't bee-ing lazy by feasting at the feeder, they can be readily found on the poppies. I'm certainly happy about that... it means I have a good chance of having some nice poppy seed pods for replanting later in the year.
Bugs and Other Critters
I found these little green guys on the poppies and gaillardia. Not sure what they are though.
I also found the largest snail that I've ever had in the garden. Anyone know what kind it is? Friend or foe?
Then there are the ladybugs on the fennel...
And more lady bugs without spots. From what I can tell, both of these varieties are Asian ladybugs.
I've had a number of Black-Eastern Swallowtail caterpillars. They seem to be a constant fixture in my garden, as long as I have fennel, parsley, and/or dill growing (which I always do).
Then there are other caterpillars I'm not as familiar with. I found several that were munching down my sunflowers like nobody's business. If you have any idea what they may be, please let me know!
And to close out this month's Wildlife Wednesday, one of my resident Texas spiny lizards, basking in the afternoon sun.
Thanks to Tina over at My Gardener Says for hosting this fun meme on the first Wednesday of every month!