Beware The Zinnias

It was a foggy morning. The misty moistiness made a magical matting behind the patch of zinnias, verbena bonariensis and bronze fennel that is backed by the dark green frame of the arborvitae hedge.Sown from a package of mixed seeds, the zinnias send out a siren song to passing butterflies. But wait! What is that little crusty bit at the bottom edge of the large blossom in the middle?Another egg case made by a hard working mother spider. Those are very lovely leggings you have there Ms. Spider. Your egg case is, um, well, very attractive as well. (Little white lies are acceptable when speaking of a mother’s young to be.)Ho there, gorgeous gulf fritillary feasting on the scrumptious zinnia. You need to be warned of a predator in the midst of this flowery feast.For lurking just off to your right is our hungry mother.
We can only say that there were no butterflies hurt during the snapping of this segment. What happens after the camera laden lady leaves is best left only to fertile fall imaginations.

This entry was posted in Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Beware The Zinnias

  1. Jan says:

    Great photos, Frances. Spiders in the garden are supposed to be a good sign. Glad the butterfly escaped.

    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks. We are loaded with good signs if that’s what the spider represent, I can’t walk any path right now without running into webs. I think they are on overtime for fall! There are so many caterpillars on the bronze fennel, there will be a steady supply of butterflies too. Hooray.

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a pretty green spider. It should be a pretty color since it is living in such a colorful world. Seeing gulf Fritillaries makes me think I am on vacation. Sure wish I was on vacation.

    Hi Lisa, HA you are so funny. Vacations are great, though. That spider was almost see through. If it wasn’t for the egg case I would never have seen it. Lots of times there are spiders and other insects that are on the flowers that I don’t see until the photos are on the computer. LOL

  3. Gail says:

    Frances, Hi…Happy Weekend! I do like Zinnias and the butterflies they attract are very delightful…I also like spiders and wish they only had an appetite for bugs I don’t want in the garden. Now you’ve reminded me to check on my Black and Yellow Garden spider…off to the garden on this very nice cool morning, ahh fall! Have a good day gardening. Gail

    Hi Gail, good morning to you. It is a sad thing about the butterflies being prey to the mantids and spiders. Nature’s way, I guess. I am going out also, big pick axe job for me, and I am very weak, just little swings. ;->

  4. Dave says:

    Good photos Frances! I’ve never seen zinnias quite as dangerous as yours!

    Hi Dave, thanks. Just be glad you aren’t a butterfly!

  5. Racquel says:

    Wonderful photos today Frances of your gorgeous Zinnias. I didn’t grow any this year and I am kicking myself for it. 🙂 I hope Mama Spider didn’t get the poor butterfly for her breakfast.

    Hi Racquel, thanks, the zinnias are really getting more brilliant as the light is lower in the horizon making them super photogenic. We all need to plant more zinnias! I have seen the fritts fluttering around today thank goodness, dodged the bullet!

  6. Cameron says:

    Lovely! I have already gotten my zinnia seeds for next year. With my garden being only 3 years old, I’m now entering the “sow seeds” stage between and around my perennials. Cameron

    Hi Cameron, thanks. Zinnias are one of the biggest bangs for the buck in the seed department. And you can then save seeds from the dried flower heads to always have a good supply. Mine all seem to want to be pink from the saved seeds so if you want more colors, I do, I buy some too. They’re cheap! ;->

  7. Rose says:

    Let’s hope the butterfly was too quick for the hungry spider:) Your zinnias are looking beautiful, Frances.
    This is the first time in many years I planted some zinnia seeds, and I am trying to remember why I hadn’t planted any for so long. They are so gorgeous right now, especially when other flowers are fading. I’m going to find more spots in the garden for them next year.

    Hi Rose, thanks. The zinnias do seem to get going as the other flowers slow down. I must make a note to plant way more next year also.

  8. Kim says:

    Frances, I love your garden stories. The way you tell them with words and photos is utterly charming. If you made a book of them at, I’d buy it!

    Hi Kim, (blush) thanks for that. I have been writing shorter posts since the move to wordpress just to make it easier on myself to figure things out. There will be long and short stories to come since the font issue seems to be solved, I hope. You are very sweet.

  9. Brenda Kula says:

    How cute your last words on this post! I lurk outside and look for all kinds of small things in nature, but the spiders have so far eluded my camera! I wish my zinnias had come up. I planted seeds and nothing happened. Finally bought a pot at Lowes a few weeks ago just to have the end of season blooms. (Once again, love your new site. I wish more people would switch over to either WordPress or Typepad. I love not having to type everything back in! So easy to comment! Makes me look forward even more to visiting!)

    Hi Brenda, thanks. I am usually looking at the flowers and only see the spiders, unless they are VERY large, when the pictures are loaded on the computer. I planted zinnia seeds three times this year to get them to germinate. What happens is that the days get warm but the soil is still cool and the seeds rot. The soil temp must be warm for success. I wish that blogger and wordpress were more compatible with the comments. Glad you look forward to your visits, that’s what we like to hear. ;->

  10. tina says:

    Fabulous photos and fabulous stories as always! The font thing is pretty cool and I am glad it is worked out too.

    Hi Tina, thanks. I am glad about the font but always fear that something else is going to foul up.

  11. TurboLotte says:

    Oh, the photos are just wonderful! The spiders in the garden are accepted but not liked here in my garden. The ones inside the house? -NOT!

    Hi Turbolotte, thanks. We do not like spiders inside either, but seem to have plenty of webs in the corners since we don’t spend too much time housecleaning because we are out in the garden! ;->

  12. Love the colors in the first photo…the misty blue in the background and the bright colors in the foreground.

    Thanks for telling me about your migration to WordPress. I’ve been away and am having a hard time catching up on my favorite blogs. I need to updated my feeds and blogrolls evidently.

    Hi MSS, thanks so much for coming over. A few of us moved kind of around the same time. I wish I had your computer skills, the move would have been much easier but think I have the fonts and settings the way I want them now. There is a lot more available here for those that wish to jazz things up a bit. I’m glad you didn’t mind my letting you know the new url, I have been leaving it in comments and feel a little pushy doing so, but want to let people know.

  13. Connie says:

    There’s never a dull moment in the garden…much is happening without our awareness. Your zinnias are stunning, red is my favorite.

    Hi Connie, thanks and welcome. There is so much insect activity and more, you are so right. When digging sometimes a toad will hop out of the hole! And then there are the birds, yes so much going on while I am weeding away in oblivious bliss!

  14. I like your shots, from the large scale conifers, to the small scale garden visitors. It’s fascinating to watch the secret world of living things in our garden, and to think how we help create the environment for them when we plant a garden.

    Hi Northern Shade thanks so much. I like your suggestion of a secret world, it is true that we have a role in that world with our plant choices.

  15. Pam/Digging says:

    Your zinnias look great against the arborvitae hedge. And hey, even spiders have to eat. Good thing you didn’t have to see it though.

    Hi Pam, thanks. That dark green is a great backdrop for all plants and colors and is no maintenance as well, and cheap. I like to think that the butterfly happily flew to other parts of the garden. The spider is still there the last time I checked and no butterfly wings were strewn about, a good sign.

  16. Siria says:

    Hi Frances! Those zinnias are gorgeous. I am amazed at your photographs. They are not only bright and beautiful, but you are always there to capture every detail in your garden.

    Hi Siria, thanks. If you could only see how many photographs are taken that are not useable. The blog makes it look easy. There were well over one hundred shots taken, and I even knew the spider was there with most of them. Getting the light right and the focus clear, well, it is a lot of luck to get a good one, and hard work, of course. ;->

  17. Chickenpoet says:

    I got a good chuckle at the end when I read that the butterfly/moth didn’t get eaten. Zinnia’s are great. In fact, that would be a good chicken name. I love zinnia’s they are so easy and carefree. Thanks for the laugh.

    Much Love, CP

    Hi my dear Chickenpoet, glad you thought that was funny that the butterfly went free. ;-> I must plant more zinnia seeds next year, hopefully these will give me a head start on dried seed heads. I gave all my old ones to you. I like these bright colors too, especially that dark orange. Zinnia is a good name for anyone.
    Love, Frances

  18. semi says:

    Verbena Bo and zinnias are a good combo and the purple and orange. Your garden is already ready for fall colors how “full frontal”. Love semi

    Hi dear Semi, verbena bo is in everybed and path, almost as bad as the purple perilla, or as good in the right places. Loving those orange zinnias. We are ready for fall. And we do miss full frontal very much.
    Love, Frances

  19. DP says:

    What a beautiful day in the garden. Spiders and butterflies alike frolic freely, and many new spiders to come, I’m assuming. How interesting they chose their nest so close to colorful beauties.

    Hi DP, thanks. I had noticed small spiders on several of the brilliantly colored flowers like zinnias, Joe Pye weed and the daylilies when they were in bloom. I guess that is their habitat and there are plenty of insects that visit so shopping for a meal is easy. The spider and egg case are still there, they will not be moved by me, so there should be many babies to carry on the family tradition.

  20. nancybond says:

    I’m happy you have so many spiders in *your* garden, Frances…that means all the fewer in mine! I HATE spiders, even though I know they’re helpful and all. 🙂 I love zinnias…always a colorful favorite.

    Hi Nancy, thanks, I will take them. I don’t like them in the house, or any other critters except the cats! For me, the fear is ants. Strange, I know. The blame lies on the old mid century horror film about the giant ants, Them starring James Arness of Gunsmoke. LOL

  21. Marie says:

    Beautiful 🙂

    Hi Marie, thanks and welcome. Glad to see you over at this new site.

  22. Debi says:

    Amazing Zinnias and Gorgeous Gulf Fritillaries, Frances. The spider appears to be the same ferocious-appearing Green Lynx Spider that loves my red lantanas and spins a wicked web filled with flotsam, just as this one.

    Hi Debi, thanks for the spider ID. I have seen other similar ones, not as large though, on some of the brightly colored flowers. Lantanas would be perfect. There are probably some of these spiders there, but unlike the zinnias, they are too low for me to get down with the camera to search for them. LOL

  23. Silvia Salix says:

    I love the zinnias and other flowers, shot against the fog. So cheerful and full of color.
    Lovely close-ups of the butterfly and spider.

    Hi Silvia, thanks, welcome to the new site. So glad to see you here and do come again! Your shot of the spider web with fuchsia on bloom day was amazing. It seems you are showing up on Blotanical now, hooray!

  24. Marie says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t have the name of my pale yellow roses. I have asked around but no one seems to know. I had the rose for many years.

    Hi Marie, that’s okay. It is so very pretty that I thought I would look for it here in the US. Thanks for the effort, much appreciated. ;->

  25. Lola says:

    Hi Frances,
    I hope this works. Took me a couple minutes to figure it out.
    The flower pics are great. I love Zinnia, so many colors. Don’t know why I haven’t been planting but will next yr. as I like to watch the butterflies also. Poor little mama spider with so many babies to look after. No wonder she hides.

    Hi Lola, so glad to see you did figure it out, way to go! It is a little different than blogger, in more ways than you know! We all need to plant more zinnias it seems. There is no such thing as too many. Checking mama spider today, she is still hanging onto the egg case, wonder when they will hatch?

  26. Gail says:

    Hi, Just a quick hello….I can’t find my spider, so I am thinking her babies hatched and she has passed on! What a life! Gail

  27. An absolute delight!
    Brought a smile to my face,

    Hi Karrita, thanks. That is the best compliment that can be paid. ;->

  28. Gisele says:

    I love the zinnias too! You have all the possible colors!

    Hi Gisele, thanks. We have a good mix, but would like more! Greedy, I know. ;->

  29. Robin says:

    Preying mantis love to hide on the zinnias here at Robin’s Nesting Place. It’s an easy meal ticket this time of year.

    Hi Robin, we have seen the mantids in the past, but not recently here. They used to sit in the Autumn Joy for butterflies to fly into their praying arms!

Comments are closed.