Early last week the overnight temperature dropped to 24˚F. As expected, the hard freeze changed the complexion of my backyard. Prior to the frigid weather a dozen or so plants were still blooming. They were providing wild pollinators with a much-needed source of nutrition.
The only flowering plants that survived the cold weather were sweet alyssum, blanket flower, and sasanqua. Although most of the flowers on my butterfly bushes died, remarkably a few survived too.
However, some did survive and are visiting the meager array of blossoms that remain. The only insects I have seen lately are yellow jackets, bumblebees, and cloudless sulphur butterflies.
The yellow jackets have continued to feed on the sugar water found around the feeding portals of a couple of hummingbird feeders that are being maintained in hopes they will attract a rare winter hummingbird.
Tiny native pollinators have focused their attention on the tiny blossoms adorning sweet alyssum encircling a backyard birdbath. Two or three cloudless sulphurs and a couple of bumblebees are regularly spotted visiting butterfly bush, sasanqua and blanket flower blossoms. When they are gone, I will give my full attention to the animals that inhabit my backyard throughout the winter.
Indeed Mother Nature provides those of us willing to watch and listen great wildlife viewing opportunities throughout every season of the year.