Sedum, Skippers and Plums

The cool days and rain this past week have greened up the grass again.  Many plants are dying out in the garden, but some plants are at their peak or will be getting going soon.

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Silver-spotted skipper on sedum.  I noticed that last September I had a picture of a silver-spotted skipper on sedum as well.  One of the host plants for this butterfly is false indigo, which I have planted close by.

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There have been quite a few of these very small skippers around the yard this week.  The proboscis is the long sucking mouthpart that drinks the nectar.

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Sedum in dappled light.  I don’t know if you can see all the flies, bees, wasps, etc. that are hanging out on this plant.  In the background on the left are the two American plum trees and in the center are the yew bushes.

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I remembered to check on the American plums and found a number of ripe ones and many on the ground.  I tasted one that was between red and purple and was no longer hard.  The skin was too tart to eat, but the flesh inside was sweet!  I picked a dozen and brought them in to see if I could keep them from just falling on the ground.  I picked a few up off the ground, too, that seemed fine.  It would be a lot of trouble to make anything from them, but eating a few a day is fun!

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Red berries for the birds on the Hicksii yew bushes.  They won’t last long.  The viburnum bushes are heavy with purple fruit and I am waiting for the day the birds start feasting.

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Pink zinnia.  The annual Monarch Festival is at Lake Katherine today, and at the end of the day I think the monarchs are released.  I am hoping a few will wander to my neighborhood and take an interest in the zinnias.

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One lone chamomile flower.

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Moss roses re-blooming this year in an old planter, with no help from me.

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Still thankful for cucumbers.  This type is “Marketmore,” and is very dependable and tasty for my salads.

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One of three large collard patches.  6 – 10 leaves head into our weekly pot of soup.  We have a lot of cabbage moths in the yard!

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How many house sparrows can hang out at the bird bath at the same time?  The bird bath has been generally quiet these days, but once in a while there is a party.

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Grasshopper on pineapple sage.  It looks like the leaf below has been chewed on by something.  The pineapple sage will start blooming with bright red tubular flowers, maybe in a few weeks, and will be visited by the hummingbirds.  It was cool at noon today and I just heard one cricket trying to make a few noises.  Now at 4 pm it has warmed up and the full summer chorus of grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, and other noise makers are going at it.  We expect hot summer weather this week!

Vacation:  We took a long weekend trip to central Indiana over labor day and had a great time at Shades State Park in Indiana.  I have been too busy to post anything from that trip, but here are a few bird pictures that we saw in other places on our trip.

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We visited Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, where tens of thousands of migrating sandhill cranes stop during migration in spring and fall.  Through our zoom lens from the observation deck we saw two sandhill cranes in the shade and later another flew out of the trees.  We probably won’t get back here to see the spectacle in the fall, but we could imagine these muddy fields filling with birds.

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Is this a killdeer?  It was in the same muddy field.  That is the best we could do with our zoom.  We need to get another camera as ours is having some troubles.

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Belted Kingfisher.  I think it was along Walnut Creek.

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Butterfly on thistle.

8 thoughts on “Sedum, Skippers and Plums

  1. I really enjoy your blog. The pictures are excellent! I wonder if you would let us know what camera you use to take the pictures and any special settings you use to get such clear images & great detail. Thank you.

    • I have been using a Canon PowerShot SX170 IS. It is automatic and light to carry. It zooms pretty well, to identify birds, but sometimes the close ups can’t be used because they are too grainy. I also have trouble with zooming in on insects, which are often hard to focus on. We recently bought a new camera and considered getting something that was not completely automatic that I could change lenses on for macro shots – that was my husband’s idea. We ended up just getting another Canon PowerShot (SX710 HS) that has just a little better zoom and better pixels, though I have not posted any of those pictures yet. I sometimes take a lot of pictures to get one good one. Other times I just post pictures I like that aren’t that great! Good luck with your photography!

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