The Daily Bucket is a place to catch your casual observations of the natural world and turn them into a valuable resource. Whether it's the first flowers of spring or that odd bug in your basement, don't be afraid to toss your thoughts into the bucket. Check here for a more complete description.July 21-27, 2013
Hummingbird Clearwing(Papilio polyxenes)
Backyard butterfly weekly list. Number indicates the number of days sighted. Names in bold represent new sightings for the year.
This week saw a slight uptick in butterfly sightings with nine sightings for the week. Despite the modest uptick, it was still a disappointment, as there are currently two Butterfly Bushes blooming in my yard. Neither one seems to be attracting much activity. One exception to that is the Hummingbird Clearwing(pictured above the fold). While not a butterfly, its graceful beauty makes it one of my garden favorites. I just wish they would land for a few seconds so I could get a better shot.
Sachems(Atalopedes campestris) are becoming more plentiful and I am beginning to see their courtship dances. The males can be quite territorial and will even chase away much larger wasps. Yesterday I recorded my first Peck's Skipper for the year(Polites peckius, pictured left and right). Peck's skippers are one of the most variable Skippers I have seen. This one has an unusual amount of orange at the margins of its hind wing. I'm always a bit stunned when they show the upperside of their wings. I have to admit, I can't ID them unless I see the underside. Fortunately, this individual showed both.
Still absent have been the Tiger Swallowtails and Silver-spotted Skippers. Two years ago they were among the most common visitors in my garden. I have seen a few around, but none in my yard. Overall, numbers have rebounded from the slow start and are now comparable to last, which was not a very good year. Hopefully, with cooler temperatures and maybe a little rain, things will improve for the rest of the summer.
That's what I 'm seeing in my backyard. What are you seeing in your area?