Yesterday I was pulling weeds out from under the lavender plants, half-drunk on the luscious scent of them, when something small whizzed by my head on its way to the monarda. Too big for a bee, it sort of looked like a Rufous Hummingbird – its abdomen was reddish – but way too small, and I didn’t think we had Rufous Hummers in Michigan. On the other hand, it was definitely humming, and hovering over the monarda to sip, darting crazily between blossoms. It didn’t hold still very long, but I finally noticed two mothy antennas. What? I may have been “drunk” on lavender scent but I wasn’t actually drunk. A moth?
I’d have liked to watch it longer, but it was a very busy creature, sped off, and I went back to weeding, and installing a few zinnias and petunias in bare spots. This is an experiment to see how the deer and rabbits feel about eating them. One of the does came through my yard the other day followed by a fawn so small he barely knew how to use his legs, and there are baby bunnies. Fawns are experimentalists in dining, eating things that make them sick until they become old enough to know better. The bunnies so far are ecstatic about the clover in the lawn, but that could change.This morning I turned to the internet, and there it was on wikipedia – wait, don’t they also have jackalopes? – a Hummingbird Moth. Monarda is a favorite food, and they lay their eggs on cherry leaves. I guess wild cherries, which I have in abundance, will do. Credit for the Hummer photo to Lonniehuffman at en.wikipedia. The Hummermoth was too fast for me.
Since then it’s been raining. Not thunderstorms, just steady, straight down, soaking, chilly rain. If only we could get some of our water to California and get some of their heat here. These mushrooms sprang up, but before I could find out what they were, they were gone. I will be very interested to see if the birds come out in force again to bathe, after the rain. You’d think they got wet enough in these long, soaking rainstorms, but twice now I’ve seen them crowding each other out at the birdbath when the sun comes out. I want to see if they go for a third.