Wild Life Wednesday: Evening Pollinators

A moth drinks deeply from Comphrey flowers.


Long past dinner time, as dusk settles over the garden, tiny flickering moths and fat bumblebees are still foraging for nectar.


Two moths share these sweet Physostegia virginiana.


We were just coming home, and camera in hand, I went to have a last look at the garden.  These little moths were fluttering so fast they weren’t much more than a blur to my eye.



I was amazed to find them everywhere this evening, on so many different plants.  Their wings blurred like the fast beating wings of a hummingbird, or a hummingbird moth, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was seeing in motion.  One might imagine them to be tiny fairies, playing from plant to plant.



The garden still whirred and chirped with life this evening as darkness gathered.  Most of the paths are still closed off with tumbled perennials after our days of wind and rain.  I had to lift and push past and step carefully over to find my way around.  It needs a bit of tidying again, but the creatures don’t mind.  They probably prefer this wildness.



But the sun shone brightly today.  The air, not quite crisp, was cooler and no longer oppressive with humidity.  With Florence well past, we are feeling lighter, brighter, and a bit more optimistic.  We left home by mid-morning, heading north to see what we could see.


Cane Begonias have covered themselves with bright flowers, finally, now that the season draws to its close.  These flowers offer sweet nectar, too.


I forget sometimes, how much wildlife calls our garden home.  This afternoon we found a golden turtle waiting for us by the garage door.  I wonder if he’d ventured out of his usual hiding places to sample some fallen grapes while we were away.

But there he was, waiting, as we got our of the car.  His neck was fully extended as he watched us approach, trusting that he was welcome there and safe.  We were glad to see him, and a bit surprised as well.  He usually stays well-hidden in the undergrowth lower in the garden.


Bumblebees share the Rudbeckia, even into the night.


From the tiniest skinks waiting on the windowsill, to the hummingbirds resting on a branch beside the kitchen window, we are surrounded by beautiful creatures here.


This dragonfly stopped to watch me photographing flowers yesterday, and waited patiently as I captured his image, too.


They are already up and foraging when the sun rises, and others still busily flying about into the night  Their comings and goings remain cloaked in mystery to us.  We see only tiny slices of their lives.


We’ve seen hummingbirds still feeding on the ginger lilies late into the evening.


And  we hear their music deep into the night.  Owls call, geese sing to us as they fly low over the ravine and over the roof.  There is a low melody of insects playing lullabies after sunset.  Then songbirds begin greeting the morning well before dawn.


Hardy Begonia naturalizes in shady spots in the garden.


These are the familiar sounds of summer drawing to a close, a celebration of life, even as the seasons change again.



Woodland Gnome 2018
“There’s an exact moment for leaping into the lives of wild animals.
You have to feel their lives first, how they fit the world around them.
It’s like the beat of music.
Their eyes, the sounds they make, their head,
movements, their feet and their whole body,
the closeness of things around them –
all this and more make up
the way they perceive and adjust to their world.”
Richard O’Barry


Garden At Dusk

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We love the garden at dusk, as the sun is dropping below the trees and the evening breezes begin to blow through the forest.


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The light is soft and the air is cool.


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Dusk is when our bats begin to fly.  They come up from the ravine to feed; zig-zagging across the garden, across the rooftop, inhaling insects as they fly.


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They come in twos and threes at first, and then little by little more fly up from the ravine  as stars appear and the sky darkens.

The frogs begin to sing to one another around the pond.

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It sounds like a cello and bass playing a slightly out of tune duet.

The cardinals’ staccato calls to one another provide the melody as they settle into the bamboo before nightfall.


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Lightning bugs appear in the shrubs and tree lines first, then gradually venture out onto the lawn as night deepens.

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They twinkle through the gathering darkness, a ballet of golden lights filling the air as trees recede into shadow.


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We inhale the evening sweetness as gardenias and roses release their perfume.

The garden comes to life as darkness falls. 

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Bats replace birds; moths replace butterflies; toads replace the sleeping lizards, and dragonflies give way to lightning bugs.

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The day’s work finished, we can simply walk through the garden one last time and enjoy the magic and beauty of it all.


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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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