Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Spectacular August Day


The weather this August has been crazy, devastating floods in parts of the country and unbearable heat in others.  We have been lucky here at Cedarmere in the Blue Ridge; the weather has been spectacular as far as August weather in Virginia is concerned.  Summers here at Cedarmere are often very pleasant because there is a gentle breeze that comes down from the mountains.


Cedarmere in the Blue Ridge

What helps keep our climate temperate is the fact that we are at the foothills of the magnificent Blue Ridge mountains.


View from Moss Vineyard

Our flowers thrive in spite of the fact that I have left them to the care of Mother Nature.

Echinacea

Rudbeckia

Passiflora

Rudbeckia and gold finch

Verbena bonariensis and skipper

Celosia argentea

Clematis paniculata and skipper

Rosa, Coreopsis, Echinacea seedhead, Veronica








Here are three flower arrangements I designed a few summers ago. These flowers are a staple in my summer garden.  I find them cheery and refreshing. 



Zinnia, Centaurea, Lavandula

Every summer it seems, I also have a few lavender stragglers, which I love to use because they add a sense of fresh cool spring into my summer bouquets.





Zinnia, Cosmos, Centaurea, Rudbeckia, Coreopsis, Lobelia


Our butterflies love it here, too.  The most common butterfly that lives on our farm is a variety of Swallowtail. One day recently, for some reason, I saw a large number of the yellow Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (both male and female) and one Spicebush Swallowtail.  


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


You can see why this Swallowtail is called Tiger Swallowtail.




Butterflies usually rest with their wings wide open only briefly as they bask in the bright sunshine.  This one seemed to really enjoy sunbathing.




Spicebush Swallowtail

I think this is the Spicebush Swallowtail and not the black Tiger Swallowtail, because it's missing one orange dot along its first row of orange dots. (Source: http://louisiananaturalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/four-dark-swallowtails.html)



Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

I was very happy to see this butterfly because it is very rare in Virginia.


Common Buckeye Butterfly

I've also noticed that the Common Buckeye butterfly has multiplied these past two years.  It makes me very happy to know that somehow I've made our environment more inviting to these beautiful butterflies!






Pearl Crescent Butterfly

I was excited to see this fancy looking butterfly as I haven't seen it before.  The poor thing looked quite weathered.  


A few days later, I saw this beautiful Pearl Crescent butterfly.





Skipper (Butterfly)

Although this little guy looks more like a moth than a butterfly, structurally it is much more closely related to the butterfly than the moth.  Skippers earned their name from their fast, erratic and skipping flight.  I have seen 4 different species in our garden.



(See my old post, Flutterby Visitors, 1/22/2014for other butterflies that visit my garden that are not shown in this post.)

But what keeps me hanging around in my gardens are tiny little pollinators, some no longer than an inch I need help in identifying the first two below.

???

???

Ailanthus Webworm moth
source: http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/-moths-and-butterflies-page-2-.html

I particularly like to watch the little insects in my garden interact.






Please help me identify the green-headed bug & the orange and black stripe bug.  Thanks

Have a fabulous rest of August, 
                   Christa 



30 comments:

  1. Stunning photos, Christa. Your butterflies are really magnificent. I'm sorry that I can't help you identify the other little critters. All the best, Bonny

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  2. Wonderful celebration of nature....your photos are stunning....
    Thank you for sharing the beauty.
    Happy Sunday!

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  3. Hello Christa, you have a beautiful place with a lovely view of the mountains. I love all the gorgeous flowers and the butterflies. Great captures and post. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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  4. Absolutely stunning photos! Thank you for sharing at OBW.

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  5. Hello!:) Thank you for your visit and for leaving a nice comment. You live in a beautiful place with lovely views, and I'm completely in awe of all your wonderful butterfly captures, especially the Swallowtails which are my favourites. I'm sorry but I can't help with the ID's.

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  6. Really gorgeous photos!!! The pictures of that Tiger Swallowtail are fairylike and what about the goldfinch between the Rudbeckias, just stunning. You really live in a heavenly place on earth.

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  7. What wonderful scenery. I love the mountains in the distance. Those funky insects on your flowers are just awesome! Your flowers are so pretty with their variety of colors.

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  8. Gorgeous collection of photos! Have a great week.

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  9. Hi Christa! So lovely as always.

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  10. I never realised echinacea had such gorgeous flowers, a wonderful series of photos, I particularly like the gold finch one.
    Wren x

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  11. What's better than a post filled with flowers and butterflies? Gorgeous photos, Christa!

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  12. WOW!! What fantastic images!! Loved them all and those butterflies are very beautiful. Greetings from Dubai and have a great day!!

    shantana

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  13. A super, super post Christina. Each photo is a fantastic sight and I have enjoyed each and every one of them. Thank you so very much for sharing these with Today's Flowers and I wish you a very happy week :)

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    Replies
    1. Hello again, so sorry you had trouble with the Today's Flowers link. If you would like to send me one of your photos, I would be very happy to do this for you. Just let me know if I can be of any help.

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    2. Dear Christina, so happy you were able to link up and may I say again how lovely these photos are? Thank you so much for persevering, truly very much appreciated.

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  14. I heard about flooding incidents there and you are lucky that your place was spared. It is really important to take good care of our nature.

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  15. Beautiful images! Love the sweet butterflies!

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  16. Such vibrant photos, and your focus is top-notch!
    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/08/purple-passion.html

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  17. So many wonderful scenes and macros. Your valley view is exquisite and the macros of the butterflies are simply outstanding.

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  18. A wonderful series! You are lucky concerning both climate and flowers!

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  19. Marvellous shots, Christa. The location is indeed idyllic and the views breath-taking.
    Many thanks for linking with the Friday Greens meme.

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  20. You live in an incredibly beautiful place! Your photos are spectacular! Hope you have a beautiful September!

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  21. what a blessing to live in such a BEAUTIFUL place...you really know your way around with that camera of yours...just beautiful

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  22. Hi! You live very nice place. The scenery is very cool.Flowers and butterflies are very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. Beautiful photos. Thank you for joining OYGIF. One of your photos will be featured this weekend. Hope you could drop by.

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  24. Our weather is very changeable at the moment too, Christa. Lovely flower shots!
    Thanks for joining the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

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  25. Such beautiful photos here!!! I'm inspired!

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  26. Wow !!! I love your beautiful flowers and butterflies !!
    Fantastic photos !!
    Happy weekend !

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