Another Interesting Lep Day!
I went down towards the woods to a big group of native azaleas earlier today. The R. canescens were blooming out, and there was a big R. austrinum in full bloom. The sulphurs were all over the yellow R. austrinum blooms, with a few spicebush swallowtails and pipevine swallowtails joining in, but the big show for me was the hummingbird clearwing going from flower to flower on the R. canescens. The particular bush it was visiting is about ?10' tall, so it was high over my head. I don't understand the appeal of dying flowers over new ones, but there were a few newly opened ones on the pink R. canescens. This was the only picture I could get - can you see it?
This individual looked very small, maybe because it was up so high, but could it have been a snowberry clearwing? I've never seen one here, but then I've never seen a humminigbird clearwing so early in the year.
Speaking of early in the year, even the pecans and black gums are leafing out, the last trees to do so. We've had cold years where the pecans didn't leaf out until early May, so this has indeed been a warmer than normal winter with an early spring.
I saw a bright orange butterfly flying down my road/driveway, that I thought at first was a gulf frit. It kept flying away from me, so I didn't get a close look, but when it landed, I could see it was gray/brown on the undersides, so it was probably a goatweed leafwing. I've never seen one of these so early in the year. The wild crotons aren't up yet, so I don't know what they could use as host plants this early.
I've never seen so many butterflies this early - I'm loving it! I've been working outside a lot, planting this and that, and will continue to do so until it gets too hot! :)