A Good Day for Butterflies
It was gorgeous on Saturday, mild and sunny. I was doing this and that in the front garden when I noticed that we had no fewer than three Monarch butterflies fluttering about. That’s the most we’ve had so far this year, though we’ve had as many as half a dozen in August and September, as the migration southward picks up steam.
They were slurping up nectar from the Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). You can see the proboscis above stuck into the flower like a straw.
I tried but failed to get a good picture with more than just Monarch.
Actually, I noticed them first on the Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). They were feeding on the flowers, but there was one who I’m almost certain was laying eggs. Later I looked for the eggs but couldn’t find them. Since Monarch eggs are pretty tiny, and I’ve read they lay only one egg per plant, the eggs still could have been there. That’s what I hope, anyhow.
I accidentally caught this shot of a Monarch lifting off from a Mexican Sunflower.
And away we go!
I also noticed what I think is an American Lady. She was a nervous creature, and it was hard to catch her when she was still. She seems a little drab, but I have the impression that both the American Lady and Painted Lady are more colorful on the undersides of their wings.
And look, there’s an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
First one I’ve seen this year in the garden. I love the line of what look like blue thumbprints toward the rear of both wings.
Not a butterfly, but I thought this wasp was kind of handsome. He looks like he’s sticking his tongue right into the flower. Can anyone identify him?
I like his black and orange color scheme. Perhaps an Orioles fan? Or maybe the Bengals?
Earlier in the year the pollinator presence in our garden was rather sparse. At this point, though, it’s a hub of buzzing, fluttering activity. A very satisfying thing for this gardener.
That’s all for now.