Frost in the Forecast

For me, winter starts when I cut the ginger lilies.

So today, even though it was warm enough to open the windows, winter arrived in the yard. Our forecast calls for temperatures near freezing Saturday night, and I didn’t want to risk losing any of the bulbs to frost.

As I worked my way through the tangle of stalks, I recovered three chimes that had broken off of a wind chime and two birdhouses that had fallen during one of the recent storms. Somehow, repairing the wind chime made me feel a little less guilty about the lingering scent of unfinished blooms.

The cats followed my progress, moving from window to window as I moved from bed to bed.

(Please excuse Vanna’s sour expression. She was trying to ignore the fact that there is room for two cats on that perch. Fortunately, a flock of robins arrived shortly after this picture was taken, providing a distraction from the uncomfortable standoff.)

The robins were soon joined by several warblers and a pair of hungry squirrels.

Today’s strangest sighting was this very disheveled red admiral butterfly. It seemed to be heading south, perhaps following the opposite path of spring’s massive red admiral migration.

Wherever it was going, I hope it gets there safely. And I hope it was able to pause, for a moment, and enjoy tonight’s beautiful sunset.

More Hovering Moths

At sunset, sphinx moths arrive for another feeding in the ginger lilies. They drain the flowers’ day-long accumulation of nectar, then move on. Around midnight, they return for the nectar that has been produced since nightfall.

I’ve seen a few different species of these hovering moths in the yard. The moth in the following photos is either a Carolina sphinx or a Five-spotted hawkmoth, but I can’t decide which. Any ideas? (Maybe it’s neither?)

The moth in this video is a Pink-spotted hawkmoth.


I am frustrated by sunset photos. No matter how lovely the image, something gets lost between eye and lens. Even so, I can’t resist trying…

Sunset Rainbow

Yesterday evening my back yard was the rainbow, my front yard the pot of gold.