It was another beautiful day, a bit warmer than it’s been, but then it is August. I worked in the yard quite a bit this afternoon, doing a lot of weeding. It was mostly thistles and fleabane, ignoring the smaller weeds. I also cut a fair amount of dead wood out of a few of the roses. The pink multiflora rose was an absolute thicket of canes and my arms are a bit worse for the work, but the rose will be happier for it. When I had filled two barrels with yard waste (packed down quite a bit), I took a break and sat in the shade with a good book and a cold drink. I didn’t get very far in my reading, though.
I noticed a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on the Verbena bonariensis growing in the middle of our back yard. I was able to get pretty close and picked this one as the best, partly because of the bright background of black-eyed Susans. While I was taking pictures of him (it’s a male) I noticed a fairly large bee. It’s about an inch long and is a Sculptured Resin Bee (Megachile sculpturalis). They were recently introduced to eastern north America from their native Japan and eastern China, having first been seen in North Carolina in 1994.