Butterflies on herbs
Some catching up from the comments on the previous post: First, no, I wouldn't hire an exterminator and spray my garden with pesticides to get rid of the cucumber beetles (I think this may have been a joke from the person who posted the comment). I'm an organic grower, I would never spray my garden with pesticide. It would kill everything including the beneficial insects I want, and the butterflies, below. And no, I can't use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the cucumber beetles, but thanks for the suggestion. I probably didn't convey the enormous numbers very well in the posting. There are hundreds of thousands of cucumber beetles in the garden, it would take an army of 50 people with vacuum cleaners and they probably wouldn't make a dent. But thank everyone for all of the support, sympathy and suggestions. I love them all!
Thanks to my good friend, Chuck Voigt, at the Univ. of Illinois, who reminded me the spotted cucumber beetle spends part of its life in the soil, as a corn rootworm! (I'm so glad he reads my blog!) That explains the big explosion of the pests just as the corn was maturing. So, there it is, to control the spotted cucumber beetle, "all you have to do" is control the corn rootworm that feeds on corn roots! If it was only that easy. Unfortunately there are no simple solutions to that, either.
We had rain, about 6 inches over a couple of days and things have greened up a bit (I had to mow the lawn for the first time in 6 weeks). The cut flower bed won't return, nor will the tomato patch, nor the red raspberries for a fall crop. But other things have come back to life and the butterflies are everywhere. Here, a Skipper butterfly stares at a cucumber beetle, both wanting the same loofah flower nectar. (The butterfly only eats the nectar, while the cucumber beetle will eat the entire flower).
Butterflies are notoriously hard to photograph. I have spent hundreds of hours in past years with my camera, chasing them around the garden. I take hundreds of photos and occasionally get one or two good pictures. Today I was rushed, so these are all just quick snapshots of what's in the garden. Below is a Common Buckeye butterfly, having lunch on the chive blossoms.
The Clouded Sulphur, below, went from the turk's cap hibiscus to the cypress vine. Sulphurs evidently like red flowers. Maybe they taste better.
identify the butterflies in your garden, here's a great site for doing that. There are thousands of photos with details about the area of the country where you will find each one.
Here's a shot of what the garden looks like today. Still some green but overall, it is looking pretty tired and end-of-summerish.