Yesterday I had a close encounter of the delightful kind. I had stopped at Bachman’s Cedar Acres on the way home from the Twin Cities and was looking at some dianthus for a spot on the rocks in my front garden.
While I was checking out the color options, a white-lined sphinx moth flew in and started grabbing nectar from the plants. I didn’t have my camera, so I have no photos of the event. And, anyway, it was one of those moments when you just stop and admire the resourcefulness, the beauty and the diversity of nature. The moth—which is sometimes called a hummingbird moth because it’s that big and looks like a very ugly hummingbird— and I were within a foot of each other for probably two minutes. After a while, a snowberry clear-wing hummingbird moth flew in to enjoy the nectar, too. If you have never seen one of these, it looks like a bumblebee that was in a nuclear accident.
It was a joy to watch both of the moths move from flower to flower, inserting their proboscis into the blooms, then buzzing to the next flower.
After the moths departed for another flat of flowers, I thought about how early this was for me to see them. That may be a function of my plants rather than the moths’ behavior, but usually I do not see them until August and the only blog reference I have to them is from October!
At the same time, the University of Minnesota Master Gardener list serv that I read is full of references to early sightings of insects: sawflies, black aphids, ladybugs, four-lined plant bug, spittlebug, etc., etc.
What insects have you spotted this year? And, is it early for them to be in your garden?