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Old August 1, 2019   #421
GoDawgs
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There were more little visitors to the zinnias today. At first I thought they were all the same thing but when I cropped the photos to make the images larger, I could see they definitely were different. They're both in the Skipper family (Hesperiidae) but of different genera. Little things, about 1".


This is the Hoary Edge Skipper, wing top and bottom:




And this is the Southern Cloudywing Skipper:




I have found a good insect ID site where you can select your state and see most of the insects in your area. It doesn't look like they are arranged in any particular order but it's fun to scroll through the pics. "Oh, I've seen that. So *that's* what that is!" Then once you ID it you can search online for that particular insect to find out more info. Here's the link. Scroll down to find the "By State" button.
[URL]https://www.insectidentification.org/[/URL]

If you're looking for butterflies and moths, there's a great site but the photo file is ginormous. They have a filter but you need the Family name to really narrow down the results. I like to look up the butterflies and moths on the "by state" site, get the family, genus and species name and then use that information on the butterflies and moths site to see a lot more photos to make sure it is what I think it is.

[URL]https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/gallery[/URL]
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Old August 1, 2019   #422
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Fabulous, Dawg.
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Old August 2, 2019   #423
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Default Monarch

Monarch butterfly on Mexican Bird of Paradise.
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Old August 2, 2019   #424
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Thanks @GawDawgs.
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Old August 3, 2019   #425
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Spooky, I'm glad you have Monarchs around. I rarely see one here.

Gorgeous plant! I know I've never seen one around here. Lucky you to be able to grow it!

Last edited by GoDawgs; August 3, 2019 at 05:02 PM.
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Old August 3, 2019   #426
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The internet says the plant is hardy down to 18 degrees Fahrenheit. Does it get colder than that where you live?
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Old August 3, 2019   #427
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Yeah, we get some three day dips into the teens in January. Most of those are in the 17-19 range but occasionally it will be three days of 10-15.

Is it a sun, part shade or shade plant? Do you know if it would it do well in a container? If so I could bring it inside on the hand truck for those cold snaps.
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Old August 4, 2019   #428
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Default Mexican bird of paradise comparison

The first two photos show plants in full sun at a neighborhood park. The second two photos show my plants. The first is a two-year-old plant that gets maybe half a day of sun. It is in my original hummingbird/ butterfly/bee area. The second shows a plant that gets even less sun and therefore it is tall and spindly. And both of my plants don't have unlimited space unlike the plants in the park. I think that you could grow a plant in a container in your area and bring it in if there is a hard freeze, but the container would have to be really large.
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Old August 4, 2019   #429
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Wow, those suckers get really big! Probably too big to cart in and out. I have a full sun spot in mind where it could just go crazy, though and treat it like an annual if it gets zapped.

Is it bad about self sowing?
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Old August 5, 2019   #430
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Occasionally I'll see a seedling pop up here and there, but it's not what I would call invasive.
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Old August 7, 2019   #431
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A friend of mine and her husband recently visited the butterfly conservancy at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. She writes:

"The most awesome part was this humongous building which is a butterfly conservancy. The plants and trees in it make you feel like you're in the rain forest. Beautiful waterfalls and ponds and so many butterflies of all kinds! There was also a huge glass-fronted case with about 100 butterfly chrysalises.

"These things are shipped to this place from a butterfly farm in Wisconsin. Then they take strings and stretch them acoss the case and glue the chrysalises about an inch apart. There were five of these strings. Many butterflies were already hatched and flying around in it. They let them out two times per day. There was one chrysalis that had just hatched and we stood and watched for a while as it pumped it's little shrunken wings until they got full-sized."

Then she tells of this neat butterfly feeder:

"They make a nectar of 6 parts water to one part sugar and put it in a flat dish. The plastic scrubbies allow the butterflies to stand on top of them without standing in the nectar and let them reach into them for a drink. They can also be easily cleaned off with hot water."



My friend graciously allowed me to use her photo and narrative. I was thinking I need to make one of these feeding stations when the zinnies finally give out and also early next spring if I see butterflies around before the zinnias start flowering. Then remove the feeder once the flowers start blooming.





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Old August 7, 2019   #432
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Great idea! Who comes up with these ideas?
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Old August 7, 2019   #433
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Default Bee on scaveola hanging basket

The plants that are attracting the butterflies are also attracting squadrons of the bees.
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Old August 7, 2019   #434
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I see you, fat little bee who's trying to hide among the blooms!

As usual, a beautiful plant, too!
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Old August 13, 2019   #435
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Default Asclepias curassavica

Host plant for the monarch butterfly. I put these in various nooks and crannies.
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