Summertime Nature in New Jersey: Sourland Mountain Preserve.
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth on a Thistle Bloom. Sourland Mountain Preserve, Summer Nature in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 200 mm f/2 VR lens + TC-E III 20 teleconverter (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/4, 1/800 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 8, Focus Magic, and Photoshop CC.
My first Monarch Butterfly of the season. I am glad I planted this small section of wildflowers right next to the house, as the other sections have been devastated by “mile-a-minute” vine and deer. The deer like to munch on the plants before the flowers can bloom. I am going to have to go back to an electric fence. As soon as I saw the Monarch Butterfly, I ran back inside and grabbed the first camera I could find with a telephoto zoom lens. When I see more, I will come back with a macro lens.
I am starting to see flowers, and wildflowers — but not the large numbers (or meadow) like last year. The plants in the grow tower are getting big. I actually had to cull (remove) the zucchini and cucumber plants because they were getting too big and blocking the sun from the other plants. I did see a frog hiding near the newly expanded pond. Also, one of the may apple plants still has its apple (seed pod).
My wildflower meadow is still very bare. I did notice two Bachelor Button flowers, and I have still not identified the small white & pink flower. On the other side of the house there were some daisy like flowers. The pepper plants in the planter, and vegetables & lettuce in the Garden Tower.