The hummingbird moth Hemaris diffinis or Snowberry Clearwing was enjoying our Clammy Weed a couple months ago. I previously posted about a white lined hummingbird moth on the Stachys coccinea and this is a similar but very different type. The distinctive yellow and black markings make it easy to see why it is called the Bee Hawk moth in Europe. This is the first and only time I've seen this type of hummingbird moth in my garden. They are about three inches long, so they are quite a sight to behold as they nectar on flowers.
When I first posted on the native Clammy Weed last year, I mentioned that there seemed to be very few pollinators attracted to it. Well that has changed quite a bit with its second season in the garden. According to my research these hummingbird moths prefer native grasslands. Attracting wildlife like this is just one more reason to keep on adding native plants to the garden.
While we're on the subject of insects, this past summer brought a growing family of Praying Mantis to the screened porch as we spotted several tiny ones crawling on the screens.
Feeling a bit sideways? Is this view easier to see?
Praying Mantis are beneficial and welcomed to hang out on the porch as their favorite foods are cockroaches and flies -- two things we definitely do not want to see on the porch. I was quite skeptical when I read that they capture and kill hummingbirds so I looked it up and, sure enough, there are gruesome images out there. We'll be checking to make sure the hummingbird feeder is free of these insects. By the way it is not illegal to kill a praying mantis anywhere in the U.S. as has commonly been rumored over the years. But it is not allowed in my yard. Just sayin'
We need our monthly dose of deer in the form of a charming doe peeking up over the creek bank...
....being followed by a buck ready for mating season. It's typical for the buck to stick to the brushy areas during hunting season even though hunting is not allowed in the city. It makes good camouflage.
Antlers? What antlers? Nothing but tree branches up there.
Tina has a great post on butterflies in the winter garden and you can check out other blogger's wildlife posts at My Gardener Says.....