My Guests, Welcome and Otherwise…

Butterflies, hummingbirds, and honey bees were as important as the colors and bloom time when I started selecting flowers for the garden. I have never met a person who was not thrilled to see a hummingbird—they are simply special, with no further explanation required. The same is true of butterflies, and maybe more so because butterflies are more accessible.

My first ever butterfly, iPhone 4s 2014.

Hummingbirds have to be appreciated from a distance, same with honeybees, but butterflies will come where you are and leisurely show off. I chose black-and-blue salvia, coneflowers, phlox, and butterfly bush because every garden magazine said they were the key to hummingbirds and butterflies. On this point, they were absolutely correct.

Yellow swallowtail, iPhone 4s 2015
Aphid Cabal, Lomo400, Maxxum 5, July 2019
Aphids on Black-eyed Susan leaf, Fuji 400, Minolta a7, July 2019

In many ways, a flower garden is like a family reunion picnic—there are always relatives you could do without seeing. Well, a yard full of flowers is pretty much a family reunion for insects.  Everyone I really wanted to see showed up—there are butterflies, bees, dragonflies, ants, and lady bugs—all very welcome. Then there are the drunk uncles and rowdy cousins that drink too much and cause trouble—wasps, aphids, mosquitos, and mealybugs that everyone wishes would just go home. But what can you do? Family is family.  

Ice Plant, Portra 400, Maxxum 5, July 2019
Snapdragon in evening sun, Fuji 400, Maxxum 7, June 2019


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