Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lambs Ears and Red Admirals

Catching up on my weeding today, I was making my way over to a patch of lambs ear, wondering if I should pull off the flowers.  they looked almost spent.

When I got closer, the answer unfolded itself as a pair of Admiral butterfly wings opened and closed.

I sat and watched for at least ten minutes as the creature dipped its long probiscus into the petals.  Its antennae  twitching and little balls bobbing  at the top of long, thin threads.

When the wings were open, they were brown and soft and downy. Closed, the bottoms looked like bark and the tops a colourful feather.

There were also a few bees, and one was actually bumping into the Admiral every now and then, trying to get it to push off, I guess.  A lazy bee?  There were so many other flower heads to choose from it was almost comical.  The butterfly batted its wings but stayed focused on the task.

I went on with the garden chores and popped back over the next hour, amazed the Admiral was still at work.  Not flitting quickly about but working very methodically. 

Then it was gone. 

Unfortunately I wasn't able to snap a decent photo but here is one diligently focused on a coneflower.

photo: red admiral


Giulia said...

Oh but that is a wonderfully recorded moment & report on the natural world. I love butterflies...well,I suppose who doesn't. But was just rereading article on Nabokov on butterflies. I love the idea of a lazy bee...have a lovely Sunday, Diane.

Diane said...

I will have to google Nabokov butterflies; it sounds like a luscious combination