Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beauty in spite of drought

A lot of southern Kansas is still in serious drought.  In spite of how bad the land looks, there is still beauty to be found.  I found some in the form of Rocky Mountain Bee Plants along a Red Hills country road.  The pretty flowers were being visited by many insects including this White-lined Sphinx moth, a moth which is also active during daylight hours.  This large moth is also called a hummingbird moth for its obvious resemblance.  Look carefully at garden flowers this time of year as it could be a hummingbird or a moth visiting your floral display.  Then, also appearing on the same plant was this Variegated Fritillary butterfly.  Look closely and you can see how worn the wings are on this insect, evidence that it is an older member of a later generation for this year.  There's a dearth of flowering plants in the hills this year because of the lack of precipitation.  But, along some of the road ditches, there was enough moisture to support some of these persistent and beautiful plants.


  1. Thank you for the post! I wasn't familiar with the Rocky Mountain bee plant, so I looked it up. I didn't realize that we had a native Cleome here!

  2. Yes, this is quite a showy plant in the fall and attracts many insects besides producing a good seed crop.