The blooms started about a week ago and along with this fritillary, coneflowers attract Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the occasional Red-spotted Purple to the yard.
Eastern purple coneflower is native to Maryland, although I can't say it is a plant we have found growing wild on any of our birding adventures.
Our friend Kay Charter, who runs Saving Birds Thru Habitat has really raised our awareness in the need to plant and protect native plants.
Native plants are critical because they are the best hosts for the native insects that birds, amphibians, reptiles feast on.
Kay's organization does wonderful educational stuff along with habitat restoration and enhancement, so check out the website if you are looking for a way to give back.
Our yard also supports some things with wings that we are not so fond of.
See this evil hole? It used to be one the numerous exits for our growing chipmunk population until some Yellow Jackets decided to take it over.
Cute Husband's right ankle is proof that these guys are not to be messed with.
We are all about letting the yard creatures exist in peace, but these guys made their home directly in a path we take around the garden.
Web searches contained several ideas for removal. Some included use of moth balls, gasoline and napalm.
Last night we tried the "cover the hole with a glass bowl and run away as fast as you can" method of removal.