Red, White, and Bugs

July! While the light might be the most golden-gorgeous next month, this month tickles our retinas with SO MUCH COLOR.

Blooming flowers are just one aspect of the ecology at our place. Insects provide little flashes from the rainbow spectrum as they play their parts in this web where we live. My phone’s camera has a hard time catching the zippy movements of electric blue damselflies, but effectively captures the red of the milkweed beetle and pink spotted lady beetle.

In a nod to our recent July 4th holiday, see if you can identify the species sporting reds, whites, and blues.

Answer options: Pentstemon; Texas Bluebonnet; Shasta Daisy; Wood Violet; Bee Balm; Baneberry; Cilantro. (One of these is shown twice.)

White pentstemon has the deep-pink ‘runway’ lines for pollinators. It’s just about done blooming here. Texas bluebonnet is not entirely happy in our yard, but has just starting blooming (after an indoor start from seed in early March) and the star-shaped leaf clusters sparkle after raindrops collect on its tiny hairs. Wood violets are a favorite of the cottontails here, so that photo was taken early in the season — before they were all chomped to the ground (they are now bouncing back). Cilantro’s tiny flower bursts look like a firecracker! Red baneberry has shiny, poisonous fruits that apparently make a fine framework for a small spider’s web. Bee balm is exploding this week, popping as more natural fireworks. And “Switzerland” Shasta daisies always remind me of fried eggs, no matter if I see them in the morning or at dinnertime.

Lots happening to be seen and sniffed outdoors during these weeks. What is happening in the little ecology you are part of?


  1. I’ve been away from home over the holiday weekend…I can’t wait to see how my plants have grown since I left. And I’m guessing the second round of birds born in my birdhouse will have left the nest by the time I return home this evening. ☺️

    1. 🙂 Birds of what species? Our backyard wrens are about to fledge, and a new pair has moved into a house in the front. It’s usually around the mid-end of July I do a birdhouse cleaning.

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