“But still … Iris, blue each spring”

purpleirisbloomonstem3June2014

“Dead my old fine hopes

And dry my dreaming but still…

Iris, blue each spring” — Shushiki

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Here’s what’s going on lately in the garden in the past week or so; as always, click any photo for a larger view.

Spraying water on seeds, I noticed a leaf jumping into the air. More spraying, more jumping. This leaf seemed … active … so I checked it out, and of course, it’s a moth! Trying to pin down the species now. [14 June update: Thanks to BAMONA, we now know it’s a Eutrapela Clemataria (curved-tooth geometer) moth.] It stayed right where it was for at least ten minutes while I took photos of it and watered the area around it. Never saw it fly.

In other micro-animal action, a few days later some kind of bug seemed to have its hooks into an earthworm and they were having a tussle in the back garden border:

I finally got a good photo of a scarlet lily beetle, which not only loves to eat lily leaves but also fritillary foliage:

scarletlilybeetleontinyfritillarialeavesveryclose4June2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I got a quick shot of this large beetle (2 inches or so) scurrying across the patio path in the vicinity of the shade garden last week; I like seeing how large its “thighs” are!

largeshinyblackgardenbugclose6June2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And some plants. This is the new growth on the Pieris japonica ‘Red Mill,” which is lovely all year long but especially so now with its new red foliage:

A few close shots, mostly blues. Clockwise from top left: Amsonia hubrichtii (bluestar) in bud, Centaurea montana (perennial bachelor button), Baptisia australis (false indigo) in bud, Athyrium niponicum ‘Pictum’ (Japanese painted fern) foliage, and comfrey starting to bloom.

And some wider shots, clockwise again: Rodgersia aesculifolia with buds; Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’ in bud; one bloom on Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Fire Witch’ (cheddar pink) and Sedum selskianum ‘Spirit;’ Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) with Gillenia trifoliata (Bowman’s Root) and a fern in the rock wall area; and an array of Dianthus buds.

And a determined bumblebee in the large red rhododendron!

bumblebeebuttinlargepinkrhodobloom6June2014

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