The Giant Swallowtails graced my backyard with a dance of summertime as they nectared on my Mexican Sunflower bushesRead More
It's been a while since I've written about the roses and butterflies in the backyard. While I love to go cool places to photograph birds, sometimes the best opportunities come in your own backyard. As frequent readers of my blog know, I have a bit of a green thumb, and I've landscaped our garden with hummingbirds and butterflies in mind. I used to have lots of rosebushes, as described on …Read More
I noticed this Monarch caterpillar on my milkweed today. All the leaves of the milkweed had been eaten, and just the stems were left. Then I looked down the flower bed to the next clump of milkweed. Five more caterpillars, all eating hungrily away! That's why I grow milkweed.
Our backyard has been a-flutter with butterflies in the past couple of weeks. We've had sulphurs, swallowtails, monarchs, and skippers galore. I took my recently-upgraded Canon 7D to the backyard to test out the new firmware. Unfortunately the camera now seems to randomly freeze up on me…but the butterfly cooperated and let me pop out the battery while he waited! :-p
This past weekend we had a bunch of butterflies fluttering around the backyard. They like my nectar plants! This one spent a lot of time sipping from my red pentas plants.
It seemed as if there were very few butterflies early on in the summer months. Now they are all over. This one was enjoying my milkweed plant, a host plant for the monarchs. The caterpillars will devour all the leaves on this plant as they grow.
It was cloudy this evening, but this monarch butterfly didn't care. He was nectaring on my milkweed, then he (she?) also seemed to be laying eggs. I actually haven't seen many caterpillars in the yard this summer. It's been a slow summer for butterflies. Maybe I'll start to see more caterpillars soon.
After spending so much time photographing around Florida this summer, it was nice to spend a day in my own yard. Sadly I was removing some of my rosebushes…I'm tired of using so many pesticides to keep the roses healthy. I'm replacing them with plants that attract hummingbirds. My mom's had success in attracting hummers to their yard, and I'd like to do the same. It was pretty hot today, …Read More
This Black Swallowtail spent several hours nectaring on Carla's pink penta bush this weekend. I didn't realize one plant held enough nectar to keep a butterfly feeding for so long.
A Giant Swallowtail came to nectar on the Mexican Sunflower today, in honor of Rich's b-day.
My Mexican Sunflower bush is turning into a butterfly magnet. Every time I look out into the backyard there is a butterfly nectaring on its flowers. Monarchs, swallowtails, sulphurs, fritillaries….it's fun to have an active yard! :) These pictures were taken after a nice summer shower (yes! rain! we finally got some!) The butterfly must have been especially hungry after it rained almost all day. She spent at least half …Read More
I love how tall my Mexican Sunflower plant has gotten this year! It's covered in bright orange flowers that make the yard so cheerful and seem to be pretty appealing to our butterfly visitors.
The butterflies are back in the yard - it's getting to be pretty common to look out back and see one or two fluttering around. I guess they like the butterfly plants that I got for them at Lukas!
It's fun to see butterflies returning to the backyard, even as the birds are starting to find their food elsewhere. My feeders are staying fuller these days, and we only have resident house finches, mockingbirds, cardinals, and doves. Even the grackles and red-winged blackbirds are becoming fewer and fewer. So it was nice to welcome this Red Admiral butterfly to my black-eyed Susan bush this evening.
It was just last week that I was taking pictures of these two caterpillars on my milkweed plant. Tonight I looked out and saw an orange fluttering in the backyard in the general area of the milkweed. I went out and found this monarch butterfly, with its wings still not completely unfolded after its emergence from its chrysalis.
I saw the first of this year's monarch caterpillars on our milkweed plants this afternoon. There are two fairly large caterpillars. I suspect they have a few more days before they form their chrysalides.
The monarchs have been visiting the backyard daily for the last week or so, laying their final batch of eggs for the year. I wonder what the neighbors thought if they saw me lying down doing strange contortions with the camera, trying to get close-ups of the eggs? :)
'Gold Medal' is starting to bloom again and the butterflies like the blooms almost as much as I do. :)
Caterpillar yesterday, chrysalis today…we have another monarch in the making! (and if you notice a crazy person lurking in her ruellia bushes with a flashlight at 10pm, don't call the police please…it's just me, checking on my chrysalides!)
It's always fun to see a new visitor in the garden. Today's was a Gray Hairstreak butterfly. Too bad it didn't choose a prettier rose on which to pose!
Something tells me that this was one of "our" caterpillars-turned-monarch that came to visit and wish us a happy fifth anniversary. :) Happy 5th Anniversary to Saidel and Jamie, too!
Surprise! As I was mowing this morning, I noticed movement underneath a pipe, and discovered one more chysalis, with its butterfly still clinging to it! (There were at least two caterpillars whose chrysalides I never found.) I thought it was a very clever place to make a chrysalis - the pipe sheltered it nicely. I went out again later and saw the butterfly take its first flight off into the …Read More
Rich and I returned from our vacation to Callaway Gardens to find that three of our four chysalides had already been abandoned by their butterflies (see picture). The fourth is brown, and I suspect it's dead (not shown). :(
This morning we noticed the outlines on monarch wings from inside our chrysalides. How cool is that? Another 3 inches of rain…but who's counting? ;-)
Another caterpillar completed its transformation into a chrysalis this afternoon. I saw the caterpillar hanging early in the morning, so I went out once an hour to photograph it, trying to catch its metamorphosis in pictures. What I now know is that the main caterpillar-to-chrysalis transformation takes place in about 5 minutes! I was lucky enough to catch the tail end, when the chrysalis is mostly formed but the top …Read More
Happy B-Day, Dyeyo D!! Rich and I were surprised to find a Monarch caterpillar starting its chrysalis this morning. After a bit more looking, we found two more. (Usually we can't find the chrysalis!) This morning they were upside down and wiggling a lot. When we got home this evening, they had already completed their transformation into a full chrysalis. So in about 10 days, we'll have three new butterflies. …Read More
We have seven Monarch caterpillars feasting on milkweek in our backyard these days. They're getting big and fat, and don't seem at all bothered by all the rain!