Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Visitors

Butterflies are not as prolific in winter as they are the rest of the year, but this little native Tropical Checkered-Skipper was enjoying a snack from the Stokes' Aster on a sunny day this month. I also saw him sipping a little nectar from the pansies, as well.
The Stokes' Aster 'Stokesia laevis' is native to the Southeast. It's planted in between a couple of frozen pentas, and almost looks like an artificial plant with its green foliage and pretty flowers. Apparently, it doesn't seem to mind the cold weather one little bit. The plant has multiplied nicely since I planted it in late summer, and soon I'll divide this low growing perennial and plant more along the edge of the island bed.

The American Goldfinches have found the feeder with nyger seeds that's tucked into the tabebuia tree. These little "winter visitors" are so adorable, and fun to watch. They also seem to enjoy the seeds from the crape mrytle trees.

This close-up shot shows two little birds (lower left and upper right) waiting patiently for their turn at the feeder. They are well protected deep within the branches, and actually quite camoflaged, as well.

The large populations of birds that winter in Florida...if I was a bird I would definitely winter here, too...are one of the nicest aspects of winter.

A Note to those of you who participate in My Favorites each month: I've decided not to continue with these posts this year, but thank each of you who chose to join me each month.


Floridagirl said...

Lovely goldfinch shots. We have a lot of these visitors in winter here at PITV also. They are so beautiful. Love that checkered skipper on the asters as well.

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

I love your checkered skipper! I don't think I've seen one like that. Your pictures are beautiful!

ChrisC said...

We've had an abundance of Goldfinches this winter.I love watching them at the feeders.I love the photo you captured of them in the tree.

NanaK said...

I have never noticed a checkered skipper around here. I'll have to be more observant. Those asters are very pretty. The little butterfly shows up so well on them.

Hope your garden stays warm through this next cold spell predicted. But, at least you know those asters won't mind it.

Meems said...

My stokes asters are lovely and green but don't usually bloom until March. Yours are so lovely ... especially right now. I have been enjoying the finches, too.They have the sweetest little voice/chorus as they perch in the trees in groups. Lovely photos, Susan.

Ami said...

How nice you have that beautiful skipper visiting your garden. I love the color of your Aster. More bird photos I see from florida blogs, the more I want to include some birdfeeders into my garden. Got to find some trees to hang those feeders on though... Beautiful shots of your goldfinch!

Susan said...

FloridaGirl...I'll bet you do have a lot of goldfinches in your area. They are so much fun to watch.

Candy...I've never seen one like him before, but perhaps I never noticed when other butterflies are around.

Chris...They are very adorable little birds, and lots of fun to watch.

NanaK...They do make a nice combination.

Meems...This plant is in full sun all day...perhaps that is the difference???? Anyway, I'm definitely enjoying the blooms as is the little butterfly.

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