One day last week I visited a horticultural park nearby to photograph flowers and butterflies. I’ve spent many hours volunteering in this park as part of my master gardener hours, but haven’t really experienced it the way a first-time visitor would. I know many of the nooks and crannies, and where all the nastiest weeds grow, but to wander around with my camera and a few spare hours was a treat. The gardens are pretty diverse and my interest is mostly in the wildest parts of the park where the hands of the horticultural staff or the master gardeners haven’t much reached yet. Blogger has fits if I try to load more than two or three photos per post, so I’ll share some of the nicer pics from the different gardens on an occasional basis.
I had to call and ask the staff about the shrub in the above photo. From far away it looked like a humungous butterfly bush, but I knew better. The shape of the flowers was similar to a butterfly bush also, but they were formed more like those of a lilac. I got my answer today – it’s a Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) – a non-native, but from what I’ve read seems to be popular in the south and in arid regions of the country. I’d be interested to hear more about it from anyone that is familiar with it. The flowers were covered with bees and small butterflies, I walked round and round a few times to get a look at all the insects that were feeding on it.
I’m awful with skippers, but my handy-dandy naturalist friend says this is probably a Peck’s Skipper.
I thought this might be a sootywing, but he says it’s a duskywing, either Wild Indigo or Horace’s.