Friday, August 7, 2009

Butterfly morning.

So it's probably no surprise to anyone that we love butterflies. We have butterfly attracting plants and flowers planted all over our yard and garden. It is not at all uncommon to walk outside and be able to count numerous butterflies, of every size, shape and color. i love sitting outside in the morning, and watching them flutter about.
This morning on my butterfly bush, i counted over 20 butterflies. In just a few minutes time i captured pictures of several different kinds, and even spotted someone new.

This is a female Diana Fritillary butterfly, and this is the first time i have ever seen one. It looks very similar to many butterflies we frequently see, so it took me a minute to realize it was something new. It was the little black spots on the wings that gave it away. We had a difficult time identifying it, because it looked very similar to a red spotted purple, and i thought it must be in a similar family. It is actually a type of fritillary, and the males look quite different from the females. The pattern is the same, but the males are a dusty orange. i am very eager to spot one of those as well, now that i know they are in this area. It's always very exciting to find something new after all these years of chasing butterflies.

This lovely monarch has been fluttering about for the last two days and i'm quite certain this is the one that we released.

American painted lady and silver spotted skipper, although they are both looking a bit weathered.

This American painted lady is a bit more vibrant.

Spicebush swallowtail, we have several of these fluttering around. They are smaller and usually darker than the Black Eastern Tiger swallowtails. They look similar to Black swallowtails, but lack the defined double row of spots.

Eastern Tiger swallowtail black form (female).

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Red spotted purple.

hummingbird moth, not a butterfly...but still a common visitor to the butterfly bush.

Fritillary and Spicebush swallowtail.

Three of the many fritillaries that frequent my yard.

Butterfly line up! Fritillary, Eastern tiger swallowtail and monarch. Everytime i approach the bush, they swirl around me and seem to dance with each other before setting back down on the flowers.

This is just one more simple reminder that life is beautiful.


themagiconions said...

OK... so I want to live in your garden!
We have just bought a house and the garden is a blank slate... I am so excited to get started. I want to make every plant count... please can you tell me your top butterfly-attracting plants.
Thanks so much for sharing on Friday's Nature Table.
Blessings and magic.

Angela said...

Wow - such beautiful visitors to your garden! I keep meaning to put in a butterfly bush at our house - I will definitely have to next year, seeing how great they are at attracting butterflies!