Our garden reached its peak a few weeks ago, but it’s still full of color and life in mid-September. Butterflies, many species of bees, and dragonflies are present. A tiny charcoal-colored mouse slices off the black-eyed Susan flower heads leaving long, empty stalks. (One year I found a mouse’s stash of flower heads and seeds in my garden toolbox!) A family of cardinals eats red yew berries; chipmunks and squirrels munch on the last of the beacon apples. Here are a few of the flowers and insects in our garden on this warm, sunny afternoon in St. Paul, Minnesota:
White-faced meadowhawk dragonflies patrol the garden for mosquitoes and other small, soft-bodied insects. Many years these dragonflies are active in our garden until mid-October.
Grass funnel spiders (Agelenopsis) are shy spiders that build flat webs with a funnel or tube at the back of the web. The spider rests out of sight in the funnel. When an insect lands on the web, the spider quickly captures it, bites it and wraps it in silk.
After many days without monarchs, a straggler sipped nectar from several different flower species.