Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo found himself able to skip mowing the Port Swiller Manor lawn today owing to the recent bout of dry weather.

b-flies2With the unexpected extra time on my hands, I not only got through some entries on Mrs. R’s honey-do list, but I also had some time to play around with my new iPhone out in the butterfly garden and try some pics of its denizens.

Most of the 25 to 30 or so butterflies that can be found there at any given time are Papilio glaucus, otherwise known as the eastern tiger swallowtail.  I know they’re common as dammit, but I think they’re quite handsome things nonetheless and love to sit out watching them fool about.  The ones with blue on their tails are the females.

b-flies(Incidentally, a little observation quickly establishes that butterflies do not flit around aimlessly – they are quite capable of extremely sophisticated aerobatics when they want.)

We used to get some monarchs now and again, which seemed mostly attracted to the butterfly weed that I used to grow.  I haven’t seen any this year, although this doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t around.

There are also a few other species that I haven’t identified, plus several kinds of moths including a small, white one and also this thing: moth

Plus, of course, all the honeybees, bumblebees, various other winged insects and hummingbirds.

It gets rayther crowded in there sometimes.

When I started out with the Port Swiller Manor garden fifteen years ago, I had highly ambitious plans for something carefully and cleverly laid out.  It was going to have all kinds of subtle color combinations and a steady flow of blooms from earliest spring right through till the frost.

Well…..the demands of time, energy, money, predation by various varmints and critters, all these factors gradually persuaded me that such vaulting ambition really wasn’t going to work out.  So I fell back on what I have now – a Dryad mishmash of Buddleia running rough-shod, some cupflower, a few iris and foxgloves in the shade.  It generally reaches its peak in late July, after which the morning-glory starts taking over.  Aside from cutting it all back in late winter and doing some weeding early in the growing season, I pretty much leave it to itself.  And as I say, it’s full of butterflies and whatnot all summah.

Some day, perhaps, I’ll plot out a few sections to reintroduce some other varieties: butterfly weed, milkweed, coneflower, sunflower and the like.

However, things are good enough for me for now.

UPDATE:  I believe that last chap is a silver-spotted skipper and is actually another butterfly, not a moth.  The big head threw me.