I'm joining Tina at "My gardener says..." to share garden wildlife sightings for Wildlife Wednesday. Rain and cloudy weather have meant butterflies are a bit scarce this year even while their favorite flowers are growing better than ever. A somewhat rare, almost sunny moment for these unusually rainy past several weeks brings out a Queen butterfly to feast on Gregg's mistflower in the garden.
Across the garden at the same time a hummingbird is feasting on young Pride of Barbados flowers. A surprise catch since last month I lazily staked out the feeder from a chair on the porch for a sure shot at getting photos. Hummingbirds will nectar in light rain and cloudy weather so I have been seeing quite a few. With so many cloudy days their favorite native plants have been slow to bloom. Then there's always that choice between gardening or photographing in the garden.
We have not seen a Tarantula spider in the garden for years, yet Tarantula hawk wasps turn up regularly so there must be some around. The wasps paralyze a Tarantula and lay eggs in its abdomen then the larva feeds on the spider for several weeks. Meanwhile adult Tarantula hawk wasps nectar on milkweed flowers or seek moist soil as the one below is doing. They are the state insect of New Mexico.
In the deer report, there is plenty to eat along the creek for this White-tailed doe.
A buck with velvet antlers enjoys drinking from the saturated creek and reminds me that it will soon be time to protect susceptible plants from "antlering" as they seek to rub off the velvet and polish up those antlers for mating season. Susceptible plants include just about every reachable sturdy plant in the garden except older trees with thick trunks or tough bark. The list of target plants includes some of my prize agaves.
That's the wildlife sightings in my garden for the past month. To enjoy more garden wildlife follow Tina at "My gardener says...." and be sure to check out the comments section in her blog today for more links.