Well almost as big as a small hummingbird. A White Lined Sphinx Moth working it’s way around the flowers for a quick sip of nectar. The length of that tongue is amazing.
A short pause is in order today to just soak in the beauty of the Comma, butterfly, that is. One of the earlier butterfly species to grace the skies in our area each summer many of the earlier arrivals we observed actually overwintered as adults. Some finding refuge from the winters freeze deep in crevices of a trees bark.
Some we found warming themselves collecting minerals from the moist soil on the forest floor.
Whereas others were often found feeding on the new growth of the trees and shrubs.
Yes, C is for Comma.
Just for fun another basket of spring wildflower rendered in monochrome.
While checking out the Coneflowers the other day we came across this really cool insect called an Assassin bug.
At one point we found them stalking prey in their world of flowers. The other insect noticed the Assassin on their trail and quickly hopped away avoiding becoming a meal.
Assassin Bugs are ambush hunters that use their long rostrum to inject digestive enzymes into their prey. Their bite is said to be quite painful yet without long term consequences.
So from now on I will be keeping my eyes open and hands a safe distance from this guys home in the coneflowers as summer carries on.
Our annual photographic homage to one of our favorite spring flowers the Glacier Lilly.
We follow their progressive blooming form the edge of the foothills up high in the mountains seemingly ushering in spring in each progressive life zone.
Beautiful from afar…
as well as up close.
On a recent walk through sagebrush scrub and grassland we were treated to numerous hidden gems along the way. Lupines flowering amongst the grasses still mainly brown after a winters sleep.
Shooting stars in clusters were dispersed along the way. Never a thick carpet, just a sprinkling, every now and then.
Bluebells dangled in little clumps…
and Penstemon light the way.
Hidden gems indeed.
Just the grass greening up in a landscape filled with sage and juniper. Quiet, perhaps the sounds of Meadowlarks and Sparrows singing, an unassuming landscape in a quiet place.
“Chocolate lily, also called “rice root” by Indian people, has bulblets that look like grains of rice. The bulbs grow relatively close to the surface and are easily extracted. Bulbs were dug in spring (before flowering) or in summer or fall (after flowering) using a digging stick, a wooden spade, or the fingers”
Some were on full display and added a a wonderful splash of color and gave us quite a surprise on what we thought would be a unassuming walk through an early spring landscape.
It’s nice to have no assumptions.
Yellow Fritillary (Fritillaria pudica), just about 4 inches tall, but oh what a way to ring in the weekend.
Wishing you a fine day and wonderful weekend.
Identical no less with matching fur coats for those crisp spring mornings.
This week the fields near home are full of the Western Spring Beauties. A beautiful wildflower when viewed up close but it can appear unassuming from a distance.
Native to much of the western United States Western Spring Beauty is a short flower only growing 2-3 inches tall in our area and it begins to bloom right about the time the last patch snow has melted from the ground.
“As the name suggests, Western springbeauty blooms in the spring, barely waiting for the snow to melt. This perennial grows from a deeply buried, spherical, underground stem; when cooked, the stem tastes like a potato.” 1
A beautiful flower and one we always look forward to seeing each spring.
1. Wildflower.org The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.