Sunday, June 29, 2014

June Butterflies, Moth, and Frog UPDATED

June has consistently been in the 80s and sometimes in the 90s (far too early for that in the mountains!).  I emptied my rain barrel  twice to water the garden so rain has definitely been less than needed.  Today has been the first completely cloudy day so I am finally getting around to doing post.

Two things seem to love this weather:  fireflies and butterfly weed (or as I call it orange milkweed).

 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Black       June 15, 2014

From this angle, you can't see the orange spots but another showed it so I believe it is a female. 

 Great Spangled Fritillary   June 15, 2014

The fritillary butterfly finds the orange milkweed irresistible with as many as five on it one day.  I learned that violets are the host caterpillar plant so I am glad I let lots of violets grow in my yard.

The Neighbor Moth   Haploa contigua   June 28, 2014

I posted on the group "Moths of the Eastern United States" on Facebook.  Within an hour, some one identified it.  None of my field guides have many moths in there so if you know of a good field guide, let me know.


We finally got a frog in our waterfall.  He is only about 1-1/2 inch long so it is hard to take a photo.  I hope he stays around awhile so I can identify him.

 Here's another photo of him.  The closest match on my Audubon iPad app is the Southern Leopard Frog which is fairly common around ponds.

 This toad was sitting under our deck light for a couple of evenings, waiting for  an easy meal.  He has not been seen since so I hope a snake did not get him but that he decided it was not so easy after all.

I have not gone on too many nature walks because we had several bear sightings, one in the driveway and then in the backyard.   My blackberries are starting to ripen so I am afraid he will be back!


  1. Beautiful captures! I've seen a lot more Fritillary butterflies this year than last year. and happy about that too :)

    1. Kerri--thanks. I have seen more fritillary butterflies than anything else right now.

  2. Lovely set of pictures. I would be staying close to home,when bears are around.

    1. Thanks Ruth. I did walk today but tried to make my dog stay close since she will run a bear off.

  3. What lovely photos.

    I need some advice. Have recently discovered a yellow jacket nest in my garden - ugh! Would like to call in an exterminator to remove it (or whatever is required) - am not planning to use any of the gasoline remedies suggested on the Internet! BUT ... are yellow jackets beneficial? I think they don't pollinate, but should I hesitate to re-claim my garden for any other reason? Thanks.

    1. webb--generally I don't use pesticides but make exceptions for hornet's nests on my front porch and yellow jacket nests in the garden. If you leave the yellow jacket nest alone, sooner or later, you will get stung, maybe multiple times. So I use those sprays that foam. Wait until dusk when all the yellow jackets have returned to the nest. Spray into the nest hole (usually in the ground or wood). If you check the next day, they should be all gone. In the woods, I just try to avoid walking too close to a nest. They only sting when they think their home is being invaded, just like most bees.