Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis

Where we live Eastern Redbud grows wild all along the roadsides, some places a lot others very little if not at all. Our driveway is loaded with it, and it reminds me of my time growing up in Ohio where it was all along the roadsides as well.

Above is an Eastern Redbud from today by our garden, the buds will open any day now. We'll be seeing a lot of it in bloom and the usual spring butterflies that visit the flowers. One butterfly of special interest is the Henry's Elfin a tiny gem of a butterfly that can be found along our road and in the redbuds in the yard. You have to look hard for these tiny 1/2 inch butterflies, it takes a lot of serious looking for them. Henry's Elfins are reported to use American Holly flowers as a host food in the southern US and Eastern Redbud in the northeastern US. We have very little hollies in our woods and I've never found any in flower in the woods. I've been told over and over again that the use of redbud as a host foodplant is a northern thing, but given one can find 6-8 of these little guys in a walk here makes me wonder.

We have another Elfin too, usually is emerges a little later than the Henry's it is the Eastern Pine Elfin as seen above. In the 11 seasons I have lived here only 3 times the Eastern Pine Elfin has been found, so it is one of the rarest butterflies found in our garden. If you didn't know we have had 76 species of butterflies in our garden. After a long time stuck at 75 species a Gulf Fritillary made number 76 last year.

Above is from a few years ago, our driveway. Below is the road out to our mailbox.

Below is a close up of redbud in full bloom.

Yes, my first butterfly photo of 2009

Male Falcate Orangetip perched on tall grass above our pond. Notice that the butterfly is holding on with 4 of it's 6 legs the other 2 legs are called pro legs you can see them folded next to the eyes. I've friends that have tried for years to get a photo of this butterfly, it just moved a little and caught my attention. It was chilly and we had overcast skies so to my good fortune it stayed perched for many photos. It remained in place even after I walked away.

Last thing: I walked down into our woodlands and took this photo of an American Trout Lily and Wind Flower. Lots of Windflowers coming up and the trout lilies are at nearly full bloom.


Alice Joyce said...

Gorgeous images: Trout lily.... surely among the most magical of all woodlanders! The Anemone 'Robinsoniana' in my garden have begun blooming, a sure sign of spring. all best,

Tatyana said...

Ohhh, he is beautiful, your first butterfly! I've never seen such pattern. Sounds weird, but it reminds me marble! and I love marble! How did you get to know all the butterflies so well?!

Randy Emmitt said...

Alice Joyce,

I agree after wandering in my woods with trout lilies every where,


You hit the nail on the head. Marbles there are butterflies called marbles. Rare in the eastern US the Olympia Marble and out west several marbles including Large Marble is one I've photographed in Colorado.

Heather said...

I love the driveway, the redbuds just add a very nice pop of color. Beautiful. Happy St. Pat's Day!

Just Jenn said...

You have the most amazing number of butterflies! The redbuds are lovely too - I wish our trees were in bloom.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Love your photos! Both butterflies have lovely patterns on their wings. Ans the driveway with those blooms--very beautiful.

Dave said...

Redbuds are one of my favorite trees. If you ever drive on Interstate 40 through TN in the upper Cumberland area while the redbuds are blooming you will see the hills covered in purple. It's beautiful!

sweet bay said...

Gorgeous pictures Randy. One of our Redbuds is going to open any day too. I'll look for the Elphins.

I've got to try a start of our native windflower. The Botanical Garden will probably has some for sale next month. They have such an ethereal beauty.

I love the drive lined with Redbuds.

Thank you for the heads up about Powell's Gardens. Now I *have* to go there! :)

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

The redbuds are beautiful, I'm so glad you shared your pictures of them. Your driveway area is so nice, I'd never want to leave. No wonder so many butterflies come to visit you!

Meems said...

It is SO exciting to capture a photo of a butterfly... but to get one that's tiny and then to get one that's rare... well, you have to be pleased. Love that "first of 2009" variety. Haven't ever seen one ... but I can hope I'll run into one someday. Maybe when I'm up in N.C. ???

The redbuds are particularly fabulous.
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

Lanny said...

Pretty, pretty, pretty. Isn't it so exciting waiting for the display to burst. Kinda like fireworks only better.

zelda said...

Finally! The redbuds!

Ginger said...

your driveway is so pretty and peaceful. coming home would instantly put me at ease.

amazing number of butterflies!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Thank you so much! I always saw those trees here in the spring in the Hocking Hills of Ohio and thought they were so gorgeous but never knew what they were. Now I do thanks to your posting.

Jayne the Dig said...

What lovely redbuds! I wish we had so much beauty round about. We're working on encouraging wildlife into the garden as there's nowhere else for the to flourish

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.