Sunday, 23 August 2009

Sunday safari.....for Susie......

I saw her fly to the patio.......my most favourite moth. I await her visit each year.....she never lets me down. Her visit is fleeting and until now I have never been able to capture her with my camera. The patio tubs are full of nectar rich plants, in the hope, she may stop and share a little time with me......
A summer visitor which migrates each year from the South of France.

Like a hummingbird, she hovers in front of the flower and inserts her long tongue.


While hovering, she beats her wings at such high speed that they are barely visible.
The accompanying high-pitched sound is said to be more audible to women than men.....and yes I could hear it.
About 50 humming-bird hawk-moths are reported in Britain each year. She stayed for just a few moments......I doubt I will see her again this year.
For me, she is the most beautiful moth.....I am captivated by her tiny form.....her hummingbird qualities.....and her illusive behaviour...
Still too hot for me....but every cloud has a silver lining....she likes it hot, and if she stays with me for a little longer, I think I can tolerate this spell of drought that we are having.....
Happy Sunday........
NOTE: Why not pop over to Gwirrels garden......Liz often posts a Sunday safari....

31 comments:

marmee said...

how exciting...what great captures. it's like a reward getting to see this hb/hawk moth. out of 50 you had one visit you...that is very special. i know you must have been memorized...
so happy for you.

beckie said...

Cheryl, how wonderful that she came to visit you! I love these moths and haven't seen one on a couple of years. Ours maybe just a little different han yours though as I don't remember the orange.

I was so surprised the first time I ever saw one, thinking it was indeed a hummingbird.

Sorry it is still so hot, but like you said it does have rewards. :)

Monica from Garden Faerie's Musings just called and seh and a friend are almost here. They have been garden touring and are coming to see my little garden. I can't wait to visit with her again!

Miranda Bell said...

They really are beautiful Cheryl - we actually get them quite often here in our garden - they seem to love the Verbena that I've got in our window boxes... boiling hot here today so just off to do a bit of weeding if I can pull the weeds out of the v. dry ground that is :-) Miranda x

Cheryl said...

Hi Marmee.....it is great to see this small moth....
Although there are only 50 reported sightings, of course, there may be many more that are not even noticed.....none-the-less I was lucky to see and capture it.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie...they are delightful little creatures....I think your moths hae a different colouring but I am not 100 per cent sure. Sherry would know, I will have to ask her.

How lovely that Monica is visiting....please give her my regards. I am sure she will love your garden Beckie.....have a fun time......

Cheryl said...

Hi Miranda....I thought this moth would be common in your area. They do love the open flowers of verbena, also perlargoniums.
I did see this one nectaring on Abelia.......

They are not common here....but living in the South does give me an advantage.....

Still hot and dry here.....my weeds can stay for the time being.....I shall pull them when we have had enough rain to soften the ground......

Hope you and yours are keeping well.....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh what lucky to have that little beauty in your garden even if for a little while. You certainly have been blessed with her presence. I am so glad you captured her digitally so we can share your experience with her.

Naturegirl said...

Cheryl..I rushed right over after you said that you were harvesting lavender!! Oh my....sniff sniff!!
I do remember while in Germany last Aug. I saw this beauty and wonder what it was!!! One never forgets meeting this precious humming..moth!!! You had one in YOUR garden...how special!!
Come by this week as I will post more of my summer garden as I am getting lots of rest and feel fine.
hugs

Liz said...

Lovely photos Cheryl, so amazing to see one!

My brother in China showed me some photos a good while ago of some, I think they're rather common over there...

Wendy said...

How exciting indeed! You've captured this little creature so perfectly and I am very happy you are sharing with us.

Considering there are only 50 hummingbird hawk moths in the country, this little one must have felt very welcome coming to you!

Mimi said...

you are so lucky to have attracted such a rarity!

Cheryl said...

Dear Lisa.....whilst the photographs are not amazing they do show the beauty of this little day flying moth.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Naturegirl....how wonderful to hear that you are feeling well at this time.....

I cut the lavender yesterday......it is hanging in the shed to dry.....the fragrance is amazing....I may sleep in the shed tonight!!!

I first saw this tiny moth whilst on holiday in Spain....it really did capture my heart. When it arried in the gardens for the first time I thought my heart would never slow down......
Holding you in my thoughts.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....I think they will be more common here as temperatures increase. They are very common in France and Spain.....

I really love this little moth....to see it in the garden is a real priviledge.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Wendy....around 50 visits are recorded each year.....there are probably quite a few that go unnoticed.......I am lucky I am not too far from the coast.....

naturewitch said...

Hi Cheryl

Some beautiful photos of yuor lovely moth. I agree, she is quite stunning and does reminder one of a humming-bird.

Just starting to warm up here and the bees are starting to get out and about again. So good to see they survived their first winter with us.

Our heat is just around the corner, so no doubt you'll cool off soon xx

Aluajala said...

Dear Cheryl, you're so lucky to have such a gentle guest. Hawk moths are delightful creatures. I'm sure it is your beautiful garden that attracts them.

ShySongbird said...

Wonderful Cheryl! A really beautiful visitor and I know how difficult it must have been to get the photos. I was visited by one some years back and still remember that feeling of awe at seeing such an exotic looking little creature, I have never forgotten it and live in hope of another visit one day! A wonderful Sunday safari treat :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Naturewitch.....often think of you and the bees. My neighbour is a beekeeper now....two colonies......they are visiting my gardens at the moment, which is lovely....

I hope that you are keeping well......

Cheryl said...

Hi Jan....they are such beautiful little moths. I am captivated and enchanted by them. They are so difficult to photograph....I have failed so many times in previous years.....they move so very quickly....darting here and there.

They love verbena....I do not know if you plant that but it may be worth a try next summer and keep your fingers crossed......

Have a good week....hot and humid here today....phew.....

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
Oh my goodness! Your Hummingbird Clearwing is gorgeous! I am so excited for you. I do understand the thrill of seeing such a delight and to be able to photograph her is amazing. They never stop flying.....
There are two varieties in my area both are different than yours. I shall go look again at your photographs. I think you have a Large Red-belted Clearwing but I could be wrong! I do know she is gorgeous and was wise to stop in your garden. She does make "hot and dry" worth while at least for a day or two!
You bring the joy of awareness of the fantastic world of the insects. Thank you for Sunday Safari.
Glad to know others are joining in. I shall go visiting!
Sherry

Roses and Lilacs said...

How amazing, only 50 of these creatures visit. They are wonderful, I agree.

In the US we have several varieties. Unhappily, many folks here kill the caterpillars because they damage tomato plants and some ornamentals. I would gladly give them a whole field of tomatoes.

I saw one on my phlox a couple weeks ago. I ran for my camera but it was so dark I couldn't get a photo. They always visit my garden at dusk.
Marnie

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry....the hummingbird hawkmoth is my favourite....her visit is so fleeting that I have to make the most of the time she is here. The photographs are disappointing but at least you can see her......I shall try again next year, should the opportunity arise.....I have the moths host plant....it is said with the South UK warming up she may breed here....I do hope so.....

Have a happy week.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie......our hummingbird hawkmoth is day flying....this provides an opportunity to capture her with the camera.....

Liz said...

Perhaps one day I will also have the pleasure of seeing the Hummingbird Hawk Moth... Although by the sounds of it, it's unlikely I'll actually glimpse it as they're so quick! :)

NCmountainwoman said...

I love them and have never seen one. Hope the lovely moth stays with you for a while, and hope it cools off soon.

Rose said...

How exciting, Cheryl, especially if there are so few in Britain each year! It must have known yours was the perfect garden to visit.

I so enjoyed your last post--what adorable pictures of Poppi and Riley! I don't like the heat either, but children seem to be able to have fun no matter the weather. I do hope you get some respite soon, though.

Daughter just got her internet hooked up, so I can finally visit everyone for a little while. I'm leaving for home today; sad to leave youngest Daughter and Coconut here so far away, but eager to see the rest of the family and Sophie again. I'm sure I'll adjust...

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Cheryl, those are great photos--I think I've seen such a moth once, but only fleetingly, and I did think it was a hummingbird. I love your photos as I really get a feel for what I missed IRL! :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose....I understand how difficult it is to leave those we love......youngest daughter and coconut will love to see you so much when you visit...it will be quality time......hang on to that thought.....
Safe journey back Rose.......

Gail said...

Dear Cheryl, She's quite possibly perfect...when you think that only 50 or so are seen in Britain each year. What an honor to you and your sanctuary.

We have our own hummingbird moths, but I haven't seen her this year...she visited when the monardas were blooming. Btw, those are great captures! gail

SweetAnnee said...

Oh..I love your hummingbird moth pic.. we get them too..but I've not got a pic.

smiles, Deena