Garden Photo of the Day

Wildlife in the Garden

Beautiful insect visitors to the garden

Barry Severn, who lives in the Toronto area (Zone 5), shared these portraits of small wildlife visitors in the garden. No matter how small your garden is or where it is located, you can make it a great habitat for insects like these.

black waspAn elegant black wasp, maybe a spider hunter, on what looks to be the flowers of golden alexander (Zizia aurea, Zones 3–8).

bumblebee on a flowerA bumblebee on a zinnia (Zinnia elegans, annual).

red admiral butterflyA red admiral butterfly on a buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis, Zones 5–9).

goldenrodMany bumblebees on showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa, Zones 3–8). Goldenrod has a bad name because it blooms during hay fever season, but ragweed is the culprit behind all the sneezing. The species Solidago canadensis is quite weedy, but species such as showy and stiff goldenrods are well-behaved. And as you can see from this image, bees love them.

red admiral on a purple coneflowerA red admiral on a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Zones 3–9).

swallowtail butterflyA swallowtail butterfly nectaring on a purple coneflower.

Monarch butterfliesMonarch butterflies feed on a fall-blooming aster. Later-blooming plants are important food sources for monarchs as they migrate south to overwinter in Mexico.

tiny hover flyA tiny hover fly. These little flies are harmless and great pollinators, but their black-and-yellow coloration makes them look like a stinging wasp to scare off potential predators. The enormous eyes are one giveaway that it is a fly, not a wasp or bee.

wasp resting on a corn leafA wasp resting on a corn leaf.

wool carder beeA wool carder bee on a late-flowering low sedum.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/03/2020

    Absolutely fabulous pics!

  2. bdowen 04/03/2020

    Impressive and beautiful photography! Thank you for the information.

    1. Shelly2020 04/05/2020

      Was so happy to see your photos. I wish I had the equipment to take such lovely nature photos. My daughter-in-law is a photographer, so she said she would come over and photograph my spring garden. I only hope she can get as beautiful photos as you have posted here. Thanks for all the beauty you added to our day!

  3. User avater
    simplesue 04/03/2020

    Great photography! Informative and beautiful. I love such detailed garden insect photography. I've tried and most often they fly off before I snap a photo. So nice to see these, and learn their names.

  4. cheryl_c 04/03/2020

    Incredible pictures, and great information! Just purchased a mason bee house from Etsy - mason bees are very docile, and quite sociable - they visit us during happy hour in our Japanese garden. They hover, looking us over. My husband says they are taking pictures.

  5. garden1953 04/03/2020

    I love this post. Thank you for planting for pollinators!

  6. karen49 04/03/2020

    Beautiful photos. I love close ups in the garden. Makes me anxious for warmer days here in MN. What camera and settings did you use?

    1. barry_freijfrejfpier 02/25/2021

      Olympus and Canon. But any real camera. Probably some of the recent phones. And a macros lens helps.

  7. user-7020748 04/03/2020

    Amazing photos. Thanks for the post.

  8. btucker9675 04/03/2020

    Wonderful - makes me miss the very large, mature lavenders in my NJ garden. The bumblebees especially loved them and filled the front border walkway with their humming.

  9. User avater
    user-7007816 04/03/2020

    Beautiful photos. I just saw our first butterfly of the year here in central Michigan, also a zone 5. Exciting times ahead.

  10. Maggieat11 04/04/2020

    I enjoyed your photos very much. Thank you for sharing with us!

  11. sagebird52 04/05/2020

    Great Pics. I would add that flies such as the hover fly have SHORT antennae which is another way to distinguish them from wasps. Also wasps have very skinny waist. Appreciate your pics . Thanks

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