Thursday, July 5, 2007

High Fliers in the Garden

It's a very wet season here in Central Texas, but that has not slowed down some of the more frequent fliers in my garden.

My newest visitor is a bright red dragonfly called Neon Skimmer (Libellula croceipennis).

He's beautiful and eats so many pests, I hope to see some dragonfly nymphs in my container water garden soon.

I have two hummingbird feeders in my back garden. They are very popular with several different species of hummingbird. Below you can see a pair of male and female Black-chinned Hummingbirds sharing the same feeder.

The murkiness of the sugar water let's me know it's time for a fresh batch. It's an easy recipe of four parts water to one part sugar.

Once the male flew away, the little female finally found some peace to drink.

She took her time to drink her fill...

Then she buzzed past my camera.

The butterflies are enjoying both nectar and larval plants. This Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) spent at least an hour checking out my Milkweed and Pentas lanceolata.

"But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire."

~Robert Frost, "Blue-Butterfly Day"


Annie in Austin said...

Hi Dawn! One of the red dragonflies was sitting on the point of the obelisk when I went out to mow earlier today - thanks for telling me that it's a Neon Skimmer.

Such lovely hummingbird photos!

I hope you and your family are enjoying summer in Austin~

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Dawn said...

Thanks Annie,

Dragonflies are cool. I'm happy to have them here to hunt mosquitoes. We're having a relaxing summer thus far. My son is enjoying the lack of homework...and so am I. Hope you're having a wonderful summer as well.


Blackswamp_Girl said...

Dawn, thanks for visiting my blog--I've been surfing around on yours and getting ideas for a container water garden, among other things. :) Those Neon Skimmer pictures are great, too... what a beautiful dragonfly.

Dawn said...

Thanks Blackswamp Girl!

I'm sure you hear this a lot, but I love your moniker. :-) Thanks for visiting my blog. Your garden is so beautiful you've no need for zone envy. Hope you have a lovely summer.


talj said...

You get some fabulous creatures in your Garden!! Well done on the bird shots too...they are not easy to take! :o)

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have been in poor health now for 2 years so I need to be very careful but maybe learning from my Grandad for a while and even just going to sit out in the fresh air might do me some good! I hope! :o)

Have a nice weekend :o)

Dawn said...

Thanks Talj

I'm sorry you have not been feeling well. I hope this summer is the beginning of good health for you. Sitting in the fresh air on your Grandad's allotment might be good medicine.

Please take good care,

Ziggywigs said...

Wonderful pictures....that dragonfly is amazing. How long did it take to capture that image?

I'd like to invite you to particpate in a meme....for more information see Random things about me meme.

LostRoses said...

A red dragonfly? I didn't know there was such a thing! Very cool picture, and I love your photos of the black-chinned hummingbirds.

Dawn said...

Hi Ziggywigs!

Thanks for tagging me for a meme. This is the first time I've been tagged. What fun! I'm still working on the Random Things About Me this morning.

Regarding the dragonfly: I took about 7 shots of him. In most of the photos he had suddenly moved his wings, so they are blurred. This was the clearest shot I got.

Thanks LostRoses,

The red dragonfly is cool. I think he's longer than the hummingbirds. I really enjoy catching photos of these little creatures. I'm hoping for more as I add plants to my garden.

FYI to all:

I'm having some trouble in the Comment section of my blog. For some reason some of the comments are not showing up even after I okay them. Hopefully Blogger will be able to help me with this problem. In the meantime thank you so much for dropping by and taking the time to respond. I really appreciate your kindness.

Happy Gardening!

Ziggywigs said...

What patience in taking those pics. They are truly wonderful. A very graceful looking dragonfly...also like the pics of the Hummingbird.

Dawn said...

Thanks Again, Ziggywigs!

I have so much to learn about photography. I'm astounded by some of the professional-looking photographs on so many blogs. The photo you took of the magpie comes to mind. :-)

Eija said...

Wonderful garden and wonderful animals. I liked the squirrel most :)

Dawn said...

Thanks Eija!

Yes, I love the squirrel under "7 Random Things" as well. She's very funny. I'm not sure how she figured out the hummingbird's sugar water was worth going after, but she's taking sips everyday now. I'm just glad she hasn't chewed a hole in the feeder yet.


RUTH said...

thanks for dropping by my blog. Really pleased to blog meet you :o)
The butterfly is lovely; I've only seen one in a butterfly sanctuary. I love your humming bird feeders; don't get those over here either.

PG said...

Hi Dawn - just been admiring and wowwed by the amazing wildlife you have, it all looks very exotic to this Little Britisher! Such big butterflies - and humming birds! AND spiny lizards - sigh. I think I've got some kind of flora and fauna envy, if such a thing exists! (thank you for the tip about the snake, if I find another one I will find out how to boil it before, and hopefully get it done before I am discovered and made to chuck it again...)

Dawn said...

Hi Ruth!

It's my pleasure to get to know you as well. What fun to look at the flora and fauna that other folks have in their gardens around the world. I've always wished I had hedgehogs and magpies for some reason. :-)

Hi PG!

You catch a lot of wildlife in your area as well. Good luck with the boiling. Oh and just in case others have not read the thread in question: we're talking about boiling snakes that die of natural causes, not killing live snakes. BTW, I was reading that another way to save the skeleton without it falling apart is to lay the dead snake on a cloth and place it near a large ant bed. The ants will pick the skeleton clean and it will stay intact.
Good luck!