Wildlife in the garden during May brought a couple of special butterfly sightings and a few other amusing wildlife antics. Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina at "My Gardener Says..." presents bloggers an opportunity to share wildlife in the garden on the first Wednesday of each month.
Butterfly identification can be challenging as with this striking white butterfly. At first I thought it was a Cabbage White Butterfly, but it lacked the dark edge on the forewing and has distinctive bands instead of spots. After searching I'm going with male Checkered White Butterfly (Pontia protodice) which is so much better since Cabbage White Butterflies are not native. Interestingly, they both use members of the cabbage and mustard family as host plants. I could not find any information to confirm whether these butterflies consume the invasive weed Rapistrum rugosum or Bastard Cabbage which has been decimating our native wildflower fields.
Beautiful standout against native wildflowers Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) and Lemon Beebalm (Monarda citriodora). Checkered White Butterflies also enjoy garden favorites such as Lantana.
Another checkered butterfly appeared in the May garden, but it was less cooperative in spreading its wings. It may be a Common Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis) but could be a female Checkered White.
Let's try something more obvious. Monarch on Rosemary? Not their usual nectar or egg-laying source so perhaps it's a nice high perch for searching out more appropriate plants in the garden.
Monarch on Brazilian Rock Rose, another non-native perch!
And finally, on native Greenthread. Plenty of Monarch sightings early in May but most of them have moved on to cooler territory by early June.
Colorful Tarantula Hawk Wasp which really does hunt tarantulas. We have seen tarantulas on several occasions and enjoy having them.
It turned sideways on a bit of ball moss giving me the chance to see its underside which can usually be challenging except on a screen or window.
I've seen these in the garden before so the hunting must be good.
Hello there, Paper Wasp.
I had been thinking of building a bug hotel until I spotted wasps going in and out of the holes in this limestone rock. It seems they found their own spot. There's a nest in there, I'm not getting any closer to move those sticks so just take my word for it.
Bees have been busy in the garden.
So covered with pollen I sometimes wonder how they fly.
Not enough information to ID this nearly invisible tiny bee (or fly?) on a Greenthread. Still, I admire all their hard work in the garden. Pollinators welcome!
Golden-fronted Woodpecker checking out the hummingbird feeder.
Woodpeckers have such sweet tooth they can drain a hummingbird feeder in no time.
In more amusing animal antics I watched a squirrel try to climb a palm tree at Chris Park a few weeks ago.
Accustomed to squirrels zipping up, down, and across trees in a flash, it was interesting to observe this painstaking challenge. It took a while so I walked around a bit more.
When I returned, success and a moment of confusion. Now what?
These pregnant doe have been delivering their fawns for the last few weeks. Soon the fawns will turn up to begin eating everything in sight until they learn their own tastes. Now with the fence up I can enjoy seeing them without concern for my plants.
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