Yesterday, I saw a hummingbird moth,
(scroll down in the photo - the top bug, whatever it is, isn't the moth!) a most magical little creature who, even a few inches from my face, managed to keep me guessing as to her nature. She was no bigger than the carpenter bees, and though my first impression was "moth," she was so birdlike in her appearance, and so hummingbird like in her habits, that she made me guess. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera on me, and by the time I went back, she'd left.
The phlox is gorgeous, and seems to be less prone to being beaten up by the rain than the other flowers. I spotted the hummingbird moth from way up on the front porch, looking down all this way. There was something so different about the way she looked, even from that distance, that I went around to get a closer look. She was the most unusual little thing, and I spent a good 15 minutes just talking to her, so close to her that I could have put my hand out and caught her. She was one of the loveliest little moths I've ever seen, with a beak just like a hummingbird, and wings beating to a blur, and even little stenciled lines around her eyes that mimicked a hummingbird to perfection. Her antennae, her tail, and verifying the number of her tiny little legs were the only signs that she was not simply the most exquisitely tiny bird in all creation.
The more normal visitors are yellow and black swallowtails, dragonflies, and carpenter bees. The butterflies prefer the cone flowers; the carpenter bees are partial to the purple phlox.
All of them are enchanting company and make me wish this garden was in the back, where I could sit more quietly in it, and enjoy its magic with more of an illusion of seclusion.
Still, even with nowhere to sit, I find the flowers themselves invite me out there to weed and maintain them, and make sure that their needs are met. I'm spending a surprising amount of time out there, happily among them.
It takes nothing to amuse me, I guess, because on a day like today, when I'm trying to handle a difficult disappointment, when I'm worried about a friend and his sick father, and missing my love, when it's too hot and humid to want to move, I find it takes no great effort on my part to spend an hour watching the butterflies feed, and listening to the hum of bees as I pull up the persistent weeds. One can easily take 15 minutes just trying to see the differences in the patterns on the wings of each of the swallowtails.
A garden is a good place. And they're good company, the visitors in my garden.