“Seeds have the power to preserve species,
to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity,
to counter economic monopoly
and to check the advance of conformity
on all its many fronts.”
Tips, tricks, and tools for gardening in a forest community
Posted in Gardening in Williamsburg, Milkweed, Native Plants, Nature art, Perennials, Photography, Plant photos, Plants which attract butterflies, propagation, seeds, Summer Garden, Texture, Wildlife gardening
We have been corresponding this spring about the plight of the Monarch. She has been involved in creating habitat for them. And she responded to the post with photos of a Monarch we found near Yorktown, Virginia, in late May.
Eliza asked, earlier today, whether we had found any eggs or signs of Monarch larvae on the Milkweed by the pond where we have been watching for butterflies.
So my partner and I returned this evening, to see what we might see.
We found the Milkweed plants just covered in bumblebees, feasting on their tiny flowers just as the flowers were opening. And the bumblebees were so blissed out on the wonderful nectar, they were totally oblivious to my presence.
Just inches away, they continued to feed while I took photos.
But in the entire time we explored, there was only one small butterfly or moth. I don’t know its name, but suspect it is a moth.
Not a single Monarch to be found. And at Eliza’s suggestion, I searched for signs of eggs or larvae on the Milkweed plants.
I”m so sorry to say that I couldn’t locate either. The Milkweed leaves look pristine- no larval munching. I checked the closest Milkweed plants and found no eggs, either.
Perhaps the Monarch did lay her eggs on one of these plants closer to the pond; one I didn’t climb down the bank to inspect. Let us hope that is the case.
And we’ll continue to check back from time to time to see what evidence we may find as the summer unfolds.
Today we were happy to find a brilliant blue dragonfly.
He was quite happy to sit still while I snapped off several portraits of him.
He was watching me, but didn’t even flinch until I moved away. He was a great sport, and I appreciate his patience.
The swans have moved on, too. But we found Egrets wading further down the road.
Early summer brings such a pageant of life to our community.
We enjoy the staccato music of the frogs and the basso continuo buzzing of bees under the melody of birds calling to one another.
So much life, and such beauty.
All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
Posted in animals, Asclepias, bees, butterflies, Colonial Parkway, Dragonflies, Egret, Environmental Preservation, Gardening addiction, James City Co. VA, Milkweed, Monarch butterfly, Nature art, Perma Culture, Plant photos, Plants which attract butterflies, Plants which attract pollinating insects, Purple Milk Vetch, Use of Native Plants, Wildflowers, Zone 7B Cultural Information
Challenge is the operative word this week.
“Jennifer’s Weekly Photo Challenge” inspires all sorts of weird and wonderful photos. Everyone who participates may interpret it in their own way, and Jennifer is unfailing gracious to all of us who participate.
I was particularly touched by the lengths to which Jennifer herself went last week to create an interesting photo for “Glow In The Dark.“
Just a wonderful bit of photo-wizardry. And I realized that she is putting tremendous effort into the little worlds she creates as her own entries.
But I play by my own set of rules for this challenge.
Since “Forest Garden” is about things green and growing, I prefer to meet Jennifer’s challenge with garden-themed photos.
And, I prefer to use fresh photos, taken within the last few days. No stale photos here, thank you very much!
But June is not a very good time of year for taking photos of “orange” in the garden.
Had Jennifer offered up her “orange” challenge in October, it would have been simpler.
But here is “orange” in the first week of June, before we even have decent day lilies to photograph!
So my partner and I went in search of “orange” this evening.
And we found such wildflowers as one dreams of in January- only in shades of plum and cream, yellow and pink.
I had hoped the Milkweed plants I had seen growing by the pond would be open in beautiful orange blossoms this evening.
But when we arrived, I realized the Asclepias was A. syriaca, not A. tuberosa as I had hoped.
That means these lovely flowers were pink, not orange.
The Monarchs are happy with either plant.
And so the search continued up and down the Colonial Parkway, and finally into the village at Yorktown.
He spotted the orange Oriental lilies growing in someone’s yard. I realized that was the closest we would get, and quickly snapped the photo.
Still, it felt a bit like cheating…
On the way back we stopped by Indian Field Creek, where there is a safe place to park beside the York River.
We had noticed Egrets there on the drive to Yorktown.
The Egrets have returned to Williamsburg, and we were delighted to spot several this evening, both flying and wading.
As I turned to leave, finally driven away from the beach by biting flies, there it was.
The perfect photo for Jennifer’s “Orange” challenge.
We had been spotting orange highway signs all evening. And I had refused to photograph them because they aren’t anything to do with gardens or wildlife.
But somehow, this one seemed OK, rising majestically from a sea of lovely Alliums and native grasses, here beside the York River.
All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
Posted in animals, Colonial Parkway, Egret, Gardening addiction, Gardening in Williamsburg, James City Co. VA, Native Plants, Nature art, Perma Culture, Photo Challenge, Plants which attract butterflies, Plants which attract hummingbirds, Plants which attract pollinating insects, Plants which feed birds, Purple Milk Vetch, Use of Native Plants, VA, weekly challenge, Wildlife gardening, Yorktown, Zone 7B Cultural Information