Archive for September 8th, 2011


In April, I wrote about the pruning of my very large hydrangea bush in a post entitled Before and After. What a difference! It seemed that the rambunctious bush had been brought into hand. However, just a few months later, the hydrangea is every bit as large and boisterous as it ever was.


And as always, the bush is a magnet drawing a host of pollinators. Bumblebees are the most numerous visitors. On a sunny day, the hydrangea seems to have a voice of its own, with countless bees at work on its lovely white flower heads setting the bush abuzz.


You’ll find a selection of pollinators portrayed on last year’s post, Pollinator’s Choice. Butterflies love the hydrangea flowers as well. A Question Mark, Viceroy, Northern Crescent and Viceroy were all featured last year in Butterflies Too. To that list, I can add an Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma). It is very similar to the Question Mark. Both are named for the small silvery ‘punctuation marks’ on the under-surface of their hind wings.


The Eastern Comma lacks the dot that gives the Question Mark its name. Here’s a photo of the Question Mark from last year’s post for comparison.

The silhouette of the closed wings also demonstrates the source of a common name for these butterflies: anglewings. Below is a photo of the Eastern Comma with wings spread.


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Last Saturday was warm and sunny, a beautiful day. I noticed this wee dragonfly perched near our porch and caught this photo of him. It’s a Yellow-legged Meadowhawk (sympetrum vicinum), another member of the perching Skimmer family, Libellulidae. These little dragonflies are on the wing in late summer and autumn, and are typically the last species flying in northern regions. Indeed, the dragonfly seemed to be a harbinger of fall. While Saturday was summerlike, the following days have all been cool and cloudy and rainy.

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