Monday (30-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

I finally saw a large butterfly again in my wildflower plot. This time a Tiger Swallowtail. There have been a lot of tiny butterflies and bumblebees, but the Monarch butterflies and the Clearwing Hummingbird moths have stayed away.  While checking the garden towers, I saw that one type of caterpillar has pretty much eaten all of my dill plants. I’m glad that I collected and froze some of the dill earlier. A different type of caterpillar pretty much ate all of my kale plants (almost overnight). I pulled all of the remaining kale and put them into a sealed mulch container. I also got several images of this strange (Darth Vader) spider.





Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.

Thursday (26-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

Afternoon walkabout in my garden with a Nikon D850 camera and 105 mm f/2.8 macro lens. Flowers & Bugs.



Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.

Wednesday (25-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Nature in New Jersey.

After the morning rain, a Monarch Butterfly and a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth showed up in my wildflower bed next to the house. There also were a lot of Bumble Bees working the flowers. Up on the patio, the Caterpillar was still eating my Dill herb. The Tomato Hornworm covered with the predatory wasp cocoons was still hanging on. A Stink Bug was feasting on a green tomato — I knew they were vegetarian, but don’t want them eating my vegetables. Finally,  a weird-looking spider (Darth Vader, or out of Aliens) was guarding its web.






Bumble Bee on a Red Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Red Zinnia Flower. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Caterpiller Eating My Dill. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Caterpiller Eating My Dill. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tomato Hornworm covered by Parasitic Wasp Cocoons. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Tomato Hornworm covered by Parasitic Wasp Cocoons. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Stink Bug eating My Tomatoes. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)
Stink Bug eating My Tomatoes. Image taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (DAVID J MATHRE)


Individual images from the slide shows can be viewed here.

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.