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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring Wings

As Spring gets fully underway all the earth seems to come alive and our longer days are teeming with new life. With the mornings' cool breezes and the sun shining brightly, the butterflies are finding their wings energized and fluttering about the blossoms. It is always my thrill to snap these fascinating & beautiful creatures -- especially the ones new to my lens. There are some I'm still chasing around Hoe & Shovel for a decent photo but here is one 'new to me' I've managed to bring into focus.
I'll need help with the ID of this teeny fellow with its battered wing (already?). If I were to guess I'd say Barred Sulphur- but I'm really not very good with the name-game?
Pale blue with black dots on fuzzy wings (or is it hairy?) and super teeny all put together caught my eye as I was unloading groceries (and almost made me late for an appointment). I'm thinking a moth of some sort. Once it stationed itself on a liriope blade I was able to take photos ... and think about how thin this blade is to give you an idea of its smallness.

What do you think about this attire? Love the black polka-dots on the creamy white. And the leggings match so nicely... topped off with the soft fuzzy cape around the shoulders and this outfit will take you from a fun luncheon to an evening out for dinner.
Unlike a butterfly, there was no fear from this moth-like bug as I got very close taking so many photos from every angle. I don't have a clue about an ID for this unique creation that positioned itself on the side of my house and was quite content there for a very long time.

Oh, to my delight, the American Gold Finches have been around for a couple of months now in great numbers. Like most gardeners I've positioned bird feeders in several locations throughout Hoe & Shovel. This pole of feeders is at the very back of the property and I can't seem to get close enough when there are 10 and 15 at a time enjoying the banquet of thistle they favor. The bright yellow males have been a delight to observe here and at the bird baths. This is the very first year we've had the pleasure of their company and I must tell you I have thoroughly enjoyed their visit. The trees just above here ring out with their adorable wee-voice of chirpy sing-song chorus throughout the day.
The Carolina Wrens are plentiful year round but elusive when it comes to photo opportunities typically. This female is desperately attempting to build a nest in our garage. Frances over at Faire Garden will understand my dilemma. Every time I leave the door open while I'm working in the garden she is busily coming and going with material in her beak. Her latest effort is on a shelf in a shoe. Of course my coming and going interrupts her plans and she flits back out but perches close by.

Actually we go through this every Spring. Wrens are notorious for finding openings and ledges of any sort fitting the need to make a home for their wee ones. I don't really want her to succeed in the garage since she won't have freedom to come and go. It is a quandry for sure. I am trying to keep the door closed as much as possible for her sake. Hopefully she will find another more accessible place and leave the garage to the cars and lawn equipment.

You know --- any photo of any bird makes me a happy girl. But when I can capture one actually doing something more than sitting pretty it is all the more fun. So with mouth open wide I thrill at the sound of her clear and distinct song wafting through the air. She easily belts it out in fairly loud volumes for her tiny being.
I love everything about spring. It calls to me to join it outdoors at every opportunity-- certain I will miss something of importance like the many wonders of wildlife if I'm not.


  1. Love the bee pic, the bird singing, and the polka dot! You're getting realllly good with that camera!

  2. The birds and the bees are sure signs of spring. I too love to see birds doing more than perching. Your singing wren picture is great. I love seeing the bee with its head stuck into a flower too.

    I haven't seen a bug in my garden yet. I can't wait.

  3. Birds, bees and butterflies - what could possible be better! Love the last photo of the bird in mid-song.

    Your big fuzzy polka-dotted fellow is interesting. I'm no expert at identifying these guys, but I've started getting interested in this and have been doing some reading after my first butterfly siting this year. I wonder if it's a skipper? They resemble butterflies but aren't quite the same. I couldn't tell what the antennae looked like, but moths have feathery ones and a butterflies are always smooth and "clubbed" at the end. Moths are usually out at night and rest with their wings open, while butterflies are out during the day and rest with their wings closed.

  4. What cool photos and such cool subjects! I love the polka dot moth or? I've never seen anything like that here!

  5. Thanks for the link, Meems. Those little wrens are quite bold, aren't they, human activity hardly ruffles their feathers. Love the operatic solo shot, perfect! Also, your polka dot moth is such a fashion plate with those leggins. Wonderful.

  6. mlm: gee, thanks.Sometimes the elements are just right and that certainly helps.

    lisa:Bees I could shoot all day long- they are such curious little creatures. I was very fortunate the wren let me get close enough to her. You will soon be thriving with bugs too. Ours never go away...

    Amy: What could be better indeed? The fuzzy white fellow really has me puzzled... I am just learning the very traits you mentioned but wings out or folded doesn't fit for this particular critter. I know it isn't a butterfly and it isn't like any skipper I've ever seen... I'm hoping someone will know... anybody?

    Leslie: This was my first time to see either of the polka dot fly-bugs too.

    Frances: They do seem to be bold about building their nests. All the books listing their habits mention the fact that they don't frequent bird feeders due to their ground foraging preference.Someone forgot to tell the wrens around here that bit of news.

    Crafty: Thank you and thanks for popping in.

  7. There goes another great set of pictures!!

  8. You have a good eye and technique for catching those tiny critters. Have you identified the chanel dressed moth/butterfly?

    I never knew that wrens were ledge happy...I'm not sure I have seen one in my garden. wrens, not ledges!


  9. What great pictures!

    I had wrens in Alabama that always nested in my yard. Usually in an old mailbox that I kept at the back of the shade garden. Once, I took the carport light fixture down and discovered I didn't have a bulb. By the time I bought a replacement bulb the next day I had a nest in the fixture that I had left on a shelf. It was so much fun to see those wrens with their baby birds.

  10. I have never seen a moth like that, it's beautiful. Ours are just brown.

  11. Lovely pictures of the wildlife.

  12. Hi Meems,

    It was fun coming here to see your butterflies and birds. The Carolina Wren sounds determined to build her nest in your garage - I hope she decides to start another nest elsewhere.

  13. Isn't it wonderful to see the birds, the bees and the butterflies return?! Hurry on up to Tally before the dogwoods fizzle out!

    Sulphurs are a teeny bit tricky for me... check pics of the Sleepy Orange or Barred Yellow. The polka-dot lovely is, I think, one of the ermine moths. We get quite a few of those, as well, and I never tire of taking their pictures.

    I have no idea what the other moth is. You might try this site...
    They invite people to send in pics for ID. And there are hundreds of moth pics to scan through in the meantime.

  14. Aaron: Thanks.

    Gail: Thanks. I've gotten some help from commenter Sophie Mae on the moth- I never would have known otherwise. I only know about the Carolina wrens --not sure if all wrens are ledge happy.

    Robin: Wrens do work rapidly - they can set up housekeeping overnight.

    nestinstyle: there are oodles of varieties of moths... some you may not realize are actually moths.Yours might not be all brown. :-)

    tina: Thanks - I'm a nut for wildlife.

    Kate: Thank you for coming to see the bees and butterflies. Even though the wrens are determined they are also smart enough to find another home and believe there are plenty of choices of around here.

    Sophie: As always... thanks a bunch... you smart girl! I've never seen anything remotely similar to either moth around here. I will check out your link as soon as I get a spare 1/2 of a second. :-)

    I do hope the dogwoods hold out for us -- we aren't due up there for a couple more weeks.


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