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24 June 2011 @ 09:02 pm
The Garden in June  
The rest of my columbine flowers have begun to bloom, as has the Arrowwood Viburnum shrub in my backyard. Once again this shrub has become infested with aphids, and no matter how often I blast them off with a hard spray of water, they keep coming back. I am reluctant to use chemicals to rid the shrub of these pests, given that a number of other insects visit the flowers for pollen.

One insect in particular interested me. It was small, and I thought it was a winged ant at first. When I took a closer look, I recognized the body shape and the clear wings outlined in black. It looked a little like the Virginia Creeper Borer moth I had found at Hurdman two years ago, and I knew I had discovered a clearwing moth!

I think these moths fascinate me just because they are so un-mothlike. The transparency of the wings, which results from the lack of scales, and the wasp-like body make them look like something dangerous, or something that will sting, when that is not the case at all. What is also interesting about the clearwings is that they are often active during the day.

Clearwing Moth

I like the details of the wings in this image taken from the side:

Clearwing Moth

The buds on the two remaining columbine plants have now opened up, and the flowers on each are both yellow. This one is yellow with a blush of pink:

Yellow Columbine

This one is all yellow:

Yellow-er Columbine

The smaller purple columbine was still in bloom, so I took a few more photos of the prolific display of flowers.

Purple Columbine

And, finally, a couple of photos of the back garden:

In this one you can see how tall the bee balm has grown. These are the three clumps in front of and to the right of the bird house. The viburnum, showing a cascade of white flowers, is to the far right:

The Back Garden