You Can Learn A Lot Over Lunch

When I sat down on that stone bench under the shade tree earlier this week to eat my lunch, I knew nothing about “Moonshine” plants, Bottlebrush, or Hummingbird Moths. This is how I would have described my surroundings: “I’m sitting beside profusely blooming yellow plants and a green bush loaded with huge, fuzzy flowers, both of which are swarming with bees and butterflies.”

After a little bit of research, I now look back on that lunchtime scene with new, more informed eyes. In a departure from its textbook tendency to avoid yellow plants, a Silver-spotted Skipper repeatedly came to rest on an Achillea “Moonshine” Yarrow plant while a Hummingbird Moth and countless Eastern Carpenter Bees drank the nectar from a neighboring Bottlebrush Evergreen Shrub.

And, of course, I took pictures:

butterfly

A Silver-spotted Skipper at rest on a “Moonshine” Yarrow plant–a perennial that should bloom all summer.

hummingbirdmoth_bee

A Hummingbird Moth and an Eastern Carpenter Bee feed on the nectar of a Bottlebrush’s flowers. The Bottlebrush is an evergreen that is native to Australia.

hummingbirdmoth

The wings of this Hummingbird Moth did not stop for a minute! The Bottlebrush flowers on which it is feeding reportedly attract (“real”) Hummingbirds, too. How exciting!

This lunchtime display of nature left me with the following question to digest: Is it better to be educated or to simply enjoy a moment in its blessed simplicity?  Perhaps the answer is a mixture of both.

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