Monday, 19 July 2010

A date with a skipper

Saturday saw yet more sun, wind, clouds, rain, all we needed was snow and hail and it would’ve been complete.

I popped out to check on the new border and pull up some more spent poppies, just as I was ferreting through all the growth I noticed this skipper right by my face on the verbena bonariensis.

It didn’t move.

Into the house I ran to snatch the camera

It began to rain whilst taking the above shot… still the Skipper remained.

Amazingly it was still there when the sun came out and if you look closely you can see the raindrops on it.

And much later, it was still there. Choosing to come back to the Verbena time and again. (wow, that Aphid looks huge!)


Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....beautiful images of a lovely little butterfly. They are so pretty, I love to see them in the garden.
You were very fortunate he stayed still for so long.

In my humble opinion, verbena bonariensis is one of the best plants for attracting butterflies. I would not be without it.

We have had three days of intense heat.....29C today. I gardened for four hours......I am beginning to believe I am actually mad!!!!!!

ShySongbird said...

Lucky you and beautiful photos, what a poser, the butterfly not you!!

I obviously need to try again with Verbena bonariensis which I planted last year...never to be seen again :(

Bangchik said...

You manage to get real close for such fantastic shots, all round angles. Fascinating to see its long gadget to suck nectar!... ~bangchik

Anonymous said...

Fabulous pictures! I felt like I was right there.

Meredith said...

Just lovely, Liz. A few weeks ago, I saw the exact same species on the exact same plant! But I didn't manage anything near the loveliness of your shots. That fourth one down with the bokeh in the background is, ah... I really don't have words for how great that photo is.

He was having a feast and maybe a little shower simultaneously. :)

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

The verbena is a butterfly magnet, isn't it?

Your photos are lovely!

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Over the past few years I’ve never really seen many butterflies on the Verbena to be honest, last year I think I saw the occasional white land on it but it was never for long. I still have it though because I’ve seen goldfinches eating the seeds and I just like its architectural qualities and the fact you can have it near the front of a border but it doesn’t block everything else out and if the insects like it too then it’s just an added bonus.

29oC, yes very mad! Yesterday was too hot here but thankfully today seems to be a little cloudy and it’s more bearable. Yesterday’s heat and humidity did not agree with me, from around 3pm I was feeling light-headed and sick, waiting for the bus home I couldn’t help but wonder whether I would be sick on the bus!

Liz said...

Hi Jan,

Definitely try again with the Verbena, as I discovered this Spring – it is not fully hardy – and I lost a lot due to the snow. Thankfully one of my mature plants did survive and only recently put out new growth, so this autumn I’ll put mulch/bark over it to protect from the worst. I bought three more earlier this year to replace those which died, but I still need more!

I hear they do self seed well, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for any popping up.

Liz said...

Hi Bangchik,

Yep, it had no problems with me getting so close at all, at some points I must’ve only been a few centimetres away from it. Indeed the proboscis (the long tube like tongue they use to drink the nectar) is amazing to see, I love it when they curl it up to clean!

Liz said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you very much, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos! :)

Liz said...

Hi Meredith,

Thanks for the lovely comment, I do love playing with bokeh, and especially as it had rained it was a perfect opportunity to play with dof and ensuring the sun reflecting on the rain created wonderful textures in the background!

I had a look to see what plants I could have in the garden to attract the Skippers, and it would seem their larval food plant are grasses… So they must be coming from parkland/woodland/wasteland nearby. Either way, I’m more than happy to see them!

Liz said...

Hi Lisa/Robb,

Verbena is a great all round plant for wildlife, a definite must for anyone wishing to attract wildlife into their garden. Plus it’s very pretty too and has fantastic height.

Kala said...

Wonderful details you've captured in these shots. His eyes are so big!

Anna said...

How fascinating to see this little creature close up - one of the photos made me think of a little mouse with wings :) Verbena bonariensis is a real butterfly magnet.

debsgarden said...

You got some great shots of the little butterfly! The skipper reminds me of someone posing for a photo shoot - You got him from every angle. No doubt he wanted to make sure you got his good side!

Nutty Gnome said...

Ha ha - I know how you did it ..... it's a plastic butterfly isn't it?!!!! LOL!

Wonderful photos you talented woman you!