Skip to main content

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group, a place where everyone is welcome to note the observations you have made of the natural world around you. Insects, weather, fish, critters, birds and plants: all are worthy additions to the bucket. Ask questions if you have them and someone here may well have an answer.
Gooseville, WI

Plump white clumps sway between the purple and pink pastels of my August phlox garden. Sweet nectared blooms unwind from tight swirly buds to exude a heady perfume that hangs in the stillness or is carried away on the slightest brush of breeze.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are drawn to this delight of flower power and so are the great pretenders, complete with fuzzy antennae, six pale yellow legs and long hollow feeding tube tongues. I forgot to mention the widely fanned tail that functions as a back-and-forth, up-and-down directional rudder.

 IMG_8619

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth
Hemaris thysbe

Clearwing moths flit and dart from flower to flower in a suspended blur of motion in full daylight. My camera can't keep up. Most other moths prefer to fly under the cover of darkness and are drawn to my porch light at night.

IMG_8611

In flight, their 2-inch wings beat a quiet hum if you listen.

IMG_8582

In the caterpillar stage, it's plump and green and sports a perky horn on its rear end. In Wisconsin, it over-winters in a brown cocoon cushioned on the ground among scattered leaf litter.

Hummingbird Clearwing

In late spring it emerges from the forest floor as a fat, fuzzy adult with solid colored reddish-brown wings. During its first flight, the central wing scales drop off leaving clear wings framed in burgundy with veins of stained glass.

IMG_8709

I watch in fascination as it uncurls the hollow proboscis tucked under its chin to probe the center sweetness of a flower. It flicks and hovers pausing for a second then moves on to the next nectar ladened bloom.

IMG_8683

A garden laced with phlox, beebalm, honeysuckle or verbena will hopefully attract these delightful hummingbird pretenders to your backyard.

Next time your neighbor asks if you've seen the tiny hummingbird babies humming in the phlox patch, just smile and nod. It's totally OK to share this bucket about the great pretenders.

IMG_8664

What's happening in your backyard? This bucket is now open for your thoughts and observations.

 

...


"Green Diary Rescue" is Back!



"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page.  

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Sat Aug 17, 2013 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site