Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Of Hawkmoths and Drag Queen Knock-Offs

 First things first, the leading photo in this post is to address the disappointment of no actual sunset in yesterday's Summer Solstice post.  Poor Mr Tonking was so looking forward to it, so I hope this Big Gay Sunset (thank you, Jon) from out of my pit nest boudoir window on the 19th will suffice?

Now, on to the titular moths and knock-offs, also from the 19th:

This hummingbird hawkmoth (and friend/partner) was drinking nectar from the last of the Jasmine flowers.

This was the best shot I could get as they were zipping around so quickly.
There are some better photos back in 2020 and 2015.

While I was papping moths, this noseybonk squirrel came to see what I was up to.

It then had a look at a carved wooden owl...

... before climbing up an old fence post to get a better view of proceedings.

Bored of the moths and squirrel, I headed back to the paysho and spied this leafcutter bee on a blackberry bush.  The rolled up circle of leaf is not from the blackberry, rather it is from The Mother's 'Gertrude Jekyll' climbing rose.  She will not be pleased when she notices the 'hole-punched' leaves...

Sentry foxgloves

The June garden

My favourite red snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
And what is this?  Could it be the hatching of baby drag queens?

Not quite.
This Callistemon is as close as I can get to Dinah's Drag Queen (Syzygium wilsonii)
: : :
The following photos are from today (except for the final one - that's from the 18th):

The Callistemon in full bloom earning its nickname as the bottlebrush plant

An Hippeastrum that Inexcuseable rescued from her work a year or so ago and gave to me to look after.  It was a rather sad and neglected bulb in a tiny pot when I got it, and now look at it!

Those Irises and Philadelphus that jumped in Car and forced me to take them home last year.

Right in the centre of this photo is something I've been waiting for for two years...

... an Arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) inflorescence!  I 'appropriated' some rhizomes from Inexcuseable's garden before she moved, and this one has obviously made itself at home.

Another of Car's passengers from that fateful trip last year: Digitalis parviflora 
(I'm hoping those little buds open up into gorgeous chocolate-coloured blooms)

Too early to tell what colour they'll be yet.

Up at the allotment the shed strangling loganberry is cropping like mad!

I got half a punnet at the weekend, but this is the first full one.  They are delicious!
(The really purpley ones, anyway - the more red ones will make your bum wink)

This might say something about me, but this unassuming iris is my very favourite out of all irises, and has been for years - since drawing some while I was in art school.
It's called Iris foetidissima - the Stinking Iris (because its crushed leaves smell rather beefy, apparently).

: : :

 Now, I hope you are all snapping away in your own gardens/courtyards/balconies/window boxes/salad drawers ready for the Garden Photos Event later in the year?  And remember to hunt for old photos of previous gardens - or your current one if you haven't moved house for aeons - for a special 'Gardens Past' exhibit (you can all thank Dinah for this little extra).  Oh, and I want your Terrifying Triffidery too!
 I'll put up an official reminder next month, but for anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, here's a link to the last one


  1. I love watching the hummingbird moths zip around.

    1. One flew right by my ear the day before yesterday - I thought it was a tiny helicopter!

  2. Yay! Hummingbird Hawk Moth season! We have yet to have a visit (and our jasmine's almost over, too) - but the phlox are in bud, so you never know...

    I always love those pseudo-drag-queen blottlebrush flowers in close-up, but I do find the plant itself somewhat straggly.

    Everything in the June garden's lovely - as it is at Dolores Delargo Towers, too! Jx

    1. Yes, I quite agree about the straggliness. This bottlebrush is a cutting from the one we had at the previous abode, Chateau Device. It was an ugly looking shrub, but fortunately was covered with Jasmine most of the time. One can just about make it out in one or two photos from these posts: The One With the Chaffinch, and The One With the Hungry Young Bluetit.

      I'm looking forward to Madam A's guided tour through the Delargo Gardens at the end of the month!

  3. My June garden is a wall of green - with a bit of lavender. I am doing something wrong.
    I like your Stinking Iris - it has subtle colouration, making it clam and pretty.

    1. I don't know which would be worse on a hot day - the stench of beef or of clams?

      As for getting colour in your June garden: Foxgloves, Ms Scarlet. Foxgloves! I think they would go very well amongst your shrubbery, and will encourage bees.

  4. Hummingbirds are fascinating. I rescued one once. He'd run out of food or didn't have enough sugar to keep his wings going... took him to a rescue place and they knew exactly what to do to revive him. They say it happens a lot while they migrate - so feeders are important, folks. Love all the photos. And you are queen of the garden, my dear. I just picked my first strawberries from a patch I started last fall... but I have nothing on you. My marigolds are still little seedlings. I envy you all that beauty so early in the season. Kizzes.

    1. You're so fortunate to have hummingbirds where you are, Mr Tonking (and they fortunate to have you rescue them). I'd love to see actual hummingbirds flitting about the garden, but these hawkmoths are as close as Britain can muster.

      I'm sure your marigolds won't take long to burst into flower. I have some up at the allotment (self seeded from last year) that have reecently bloomed.

  5. I'm so glad you rescued the Hippeastrum, it's so gratifying to save some plant neglected by its previous fatheaded guardian.

    1. Two of the flowers are out now, Mr Peenee. And I must admit to feeling quite smug that I'm enjoying its gaudy beauty instead of those 'fatheads' where Inexcuseable used to work!

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  7. I tried to correct a grammatical error and was told that I no longer had access to view the page. What I wanted to say is that your post is a delight! Squrrels and moffs and pretty things! Apparently, this patch of paradise is in the grip of the coldest weather in almost 40 years! And we've had rain every day since Thursday. But I mustn't grumble.It's much worse in other places. And we did go to the orchid show on Saturday.


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