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hendi_alex
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Wildflower garden, so many insects!

I simply love the wildflower mix garden that has now been planted two consecutive years. So many butterflies, bees, and other insects associated with the plants. This year the patch is about 75-100 feet by around 20 feet average. Will expand the planting next year. Is a mix of seeds from wildflower mix, with individual packets of other flowers added. Also have subsections included with a few perennials and some annuals with penta and pineapple sage being two of the favorites.

We have been very dry lately. Today after two days of evening showers the butterflies and bees are everywhere. At least a dozen or more big swallowtails of varous species working the flowers at any given time, plus too numerous to estimate bees, wasps, smaller butterflies, and other critters enjoying the day.

[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3117/2649192929_53ccb9d99d_m.jpg[/img]

[img]https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2202/2649194087_e2edeb899c_m.jpg[/img]

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[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3119/2650022010_001754d198_m.jpg[/img]

[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3056/2649193739_57b6a1d0a2.jpg[/img]

Papa2mykids
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Nice pictures.

If you haven't added a bowl of water or a birdbath, you may want to do so. Water attract the insects as well as birds.

Ron
www.gardening-for-wildlife.com

cheshirekat
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I agree with papa2mykids. The beneficial pollinators need water to survive just as much as they need pollen. Oftentimes bird watchers put bird feeders up but don't have a source of water for the birds. Butterflies and bees love places with food and water.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Jo Green
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Wonderful Pictures

These are really wonderful pictures of your butterflies and wildlife garden.

I agree with the other posts in that you must provide water in addition to food. You can easily make homemade butterfly feeders from jars or pie plates or simply purchase an oriole feeder. Like orioles and hummingbirds, the butterflies enjoy the nectar which is made from one part sugar to four parts water.

For added enjoyment you can create a fruit feeder from a glass pie plate by suspending it in a sunny location in your wildflower garden. Butterflies prefer to feed in the sun instead of the shade. Fill the glass plate with fruit slices and sprinkle fruit juice on the plate. Although the fruit will tend to get mushy, the butterflies prefer over ripe fruit. However, if it gets too moldy then you of course will want to replace it. The orioles and hummingbirds will also thank you for the feeder and be attracted to your wildflower garden.

I have also known butterflies to drink from a birdbath on occasion so this would also be a wonderful addition to your garden.
Jo Green
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hendi_alex
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I have two bird baths in the yard. Also have two large water containers for the pets when they are outside. Finally, several sprinklers are set on separate timers such that the sprinklers come on in a staggard fashion starting at around 7 a.m. and turning off around 11 a.m. and then one last sprinkler set comes back on at 4 p.m. and runs until 5 p.m. I imagine most of the critters are happy just drinking off of the plant foilage. I will investigate the water issue a little more fully. Perhaps some additional methods could be adopted.

cheshirekat
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hendi_alex, I love butterflies and will probably never tire of seeing them - especially on flowers in my garden. I haven't seen many here yet, although I see a LOT of bees and wasps. Most of the butterflies I've seen have been circling around my yard or flying high within my yard.

I keep several containers of water filled daily for the birds and bees I see drinking from them. I haven't made a dish with sand for the butterflies to drink from yet. I'm still trying to decide the best place to put it. All the birdbaths but one are in full sun. I'd like to add something in the front yard this summer and have a couple spots I'm considering. Problem is that everything gets knocked down so easily with the hose and wind in the front yard. With the privacy fence in the backyard, it really calms the winds down. But in the front yard, the wind is a different story until my hedges mature. In time everything will come together.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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hendi_alex
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Still lots of critter activity today. Here are a few photos. Probably many of the more interesting residents are unseen in the dense under growth.

[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3123/2666196624_eef884e4b8.jpg[/img]

[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3031/2665373509_68ab9bd985.jpg[/img]

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[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3199/2665377921_cb2a17553a.jpg[/img]


[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3121/2666202994_80a45f86f4.jpg[/img]

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[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/2666207042_4bb62071d9.jpg[/img]

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NEWisc
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Nice assortment of butterflies! Looks like you have Spicebush, Eastern Tiger and Black Swallowtails; and Fiery and Silver Spotted Skippers.

The Wild Bergamot or Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) is a major butterfly attractor in my area, too. One shrub that I have is also a big attractor, the Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius). It's bloom period is earlier, but it really draws in all kinds of butterflies. Even some of those that rarely feed on nectar.
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applestar
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Beautiful photos! I hope my "meadow" will look like yours some day. :D
p.s. what kind of camera do you use?

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hendi_alex
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It is a Sony Cybershot DSC-W55. Is old technology now, but for me still a great little camera. (Has mixed review online!) Easy to use, almost idiot proof. Has a macro/zoom. Carl Zeis lens. All of these photos are taken on the poorest VGA resolution setting, and still look fine on the monitor. Camera's recovery time is pretty quick and shutter speed is pretty quick. Has manual over rides but I rarely use them, just point and click. Camera also shoots movies with sound. From those you can simply pick out stills one frame at a time. Pretty useful if you have an un cooperative moving subject. Camera only costs about $150, but its modern replacement most likely only cost a bit more, certainly under $200. When buying the camera, I also bought a good sized storage card and bought a spare battery pack. IMO was a smart move to add those to my camera kit. Final note: this camera is about the size of a cigarette pack.

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hendi_alex
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Was just playing with the movie setting on my Sony digital. Pretty easy to use, you may find the short film of interest.

https://flickr.com/photos/15582147@N04/2669320826/?processed=1&cb=1216072425687

cheshirekat
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I can never remember to take movies. My Sony DSCH9 will take movies but I haven't used it yet. My last camera was a DSC-W7 and I never took movies because I didn't have very many cards. My Sony P-something I don't remember too well but I think I tried the movie mode and forgot about it when I erased the card. Oops.

I saw a purplish black small butterfly late this evening. It's been overcast, muggy and hazy here most of the day so sunset was early. The little one plopped down right in front of me and I didn't have my camera. So I finished watering the area I was doing and it was still there. I went inside to get my camera but expected it to be gone. It was still there. So, nearly dark do I use flash? Does that bother butterflies - not good to use flash for Yellow-jackets I've heard. I tried taking photos in the dark without my monopod but finally decided to use the flash but it was too bright. Oh well.

My wiegela doesn't have a single flower and that was the butterfly's choice of perch. I have flowers all over and even my butterfly bush is flowering. The bees like the bush but I really want to see butterflies there.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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