Tuesday (24-July-2018) — New Jersey.

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

For the last several days it has been raining. Rain is good as it is keeping me busy trying to restore some of my wildflower meadows that had been taken over by the invasive “mile-a-minute” vine. I tried many methods to get rid of the vine. Ultimately, I ended up having to use a herbicide. Now I am re-seeding with various wildflower seeds. I hope some take.

Today, I noticed a Clearwing Moth on my Zinnia flowers (Hemaris diffinis, snowberry clearwing,”hummingbird moth”). Later on I saw a caterpillar chowing down on one of my Dill plants that I was letting bolt and go to seed. I am not sure what butterfly it will become (thinking a Black Swallowtail?). Later on I noticed a yellow (tiger) swallowtail butterfly on the Zinnia flowers. While checking the tomato plants in the Garden Tower I saw a giant Tomato Hornworm — covered with hundreds of the parasitic wasp cocoons. These tiny wasps are a good thing as a natural pest control for the Tomato Hornworms.






Yellow Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Yellow Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

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