Horse fly (Tabanus atratus)
This whopper of a fly is a large, very distinctive looking member of the Tabanidae, the horse flies (which also includes deer flies). FWG visitor, Lisa, found this sitting on a milkweed near the centre. This fly could inflict a noticeable bite, but in fact, these gals (and it is only the females who bite) prefer to bite cattle not people. So this one may have wandered over from the farm where the cows are.
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
This is the first monarch butterfly I've seen this year. Last year, they were abundant, but this year scarce throughout their range. I can recall seeing, late last August, about 30+ nectaring on the big field of buckwheat flowers. It was quite a sight. This year, well, it is a very different story. I was very happy to see this one! Now we need to keep our eyes open for eggs and larvae on milkweed.
Cabbage white (Pieeris rapae) on Liatris
Nectaring on the liatris, this cabbage white was oblivious to my presence, so was able to get a couple of photos. In a typical year, we might see 8 to 10 or more during any visit to the garden in summer, but not this year. As with most butterfly species (though not all), populations are not as vigorous this year.
White admiral (Limenitis arthemis)
This beauty was one of several seen today at the garden. In this case, it was along the Bill Holland Trail, and after "buzzing" me a few times, landed literally at my feet. Unlike many butterflies, this species rarely nectars, taking sustenance instead from scat, or minerals in sand, amongst other sources.
Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), male
These beautiful damselflies can be found flitting along woodland trails in the region, if there is water in the general vicinity. This one was on the Bill Holland Trail near the centre and posed briefly on the raspberry.
Sand wasp (Bicyrtes)
These are lovely, shiny medium sized wasps, which turn up at this time of year as regular as clockwork. This one was particularly skittish, and I had difficulty getting shots, though often I've found them quite cooperative for photos. But if you could see the eyes, you'd see they are a lovely green. There are more photos of this species in our bees and wasp gallery. This one was on boneset.
Snowberry Clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis) on monarda
This was a busy moth, darting amongst the bumble bees to seek nectar from the abundant monarda in the butterfly meadow. The caterpillars feed on honeysuckles and of course, on snowberry.
Chickweed geometer (Haematopis grataria) 7146
A mating pair of chickweed geometers near the ash woods. These day-flying moths are so butterfly-like with their bright colours and diurnal habits. Also, note those lovely plumose antennae on the male, not something butterflies have. The larval host plants, as the name suggests, are chickweeds, as well as plants in the polygonum group.
A great wave of coneflowers (Echinachea) and the tall flowers of gray-headed coneflowers also create an impression of abundance and colour.
Liatris and cardinal flower
These vivid flowers make quite an eye-catching spectacle in the butterfly meadow. The liatris in particular, is very attractive to a variety of insects.
Carrot Seed moth (Sitochroa palealis), #4986.1
This little moth was photographed by Diane on the vivid blazing star flower in the butterfly meadow. It is a European introduction whose host plant is queen anne's lace seedheads.
Copper underwing (Amphipyra pyramidoides), #9638
Diane photographed this moth at the garden. I've never seen the moth, but have several times found the very pretty, bright green caterpillar, although not at FWG. These moths belong to the Noctuidae family.