The garden’s butterfly population seems to be reaching its peak, especially with the migrating monarchs. I can’t leave or return home without wanting to grab the camera, or at the very least lose myself in watching these magical creatures. A couple of these photos have already been posted on Instagram so I’m sorry if this is repetitious for some of you.

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We saw hardly any Eastern Tiger Swallowtails until after the middle of August, but they’ve been much more noticeable lately,

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The Black Swallowtails have been around all summer, but this is the best picture I’ve gotten of one all year. They tend to be kind of hyperactive.

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Lately there have been a half dozen or so Monarchs most mornings when we head out to work. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but the Zinnias and Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia) have been magnets for all kinds of butterflies. Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) and the Milkweeds have also been pretty popular.

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I like this Monarch in motion picture even though it is fuzzy. Looks like a vampire come to suck the bumblebee’s blood.

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Painted Ladies have been plentiful this year.

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Same butterfly, different light and angle.

The presence of butterflies certainly lift the spirits, even if they do tend to make me late for work.

40 Comments on “More Butterflies in the Garden

  1. I’m becoming increasingly fond of the painted ladies, and I especially like the translucence of that last photo. Thanks for sharing all of these here — those of us who’ve chosen to avoid social media are grateful.

  2. We have more butterflies this year than ever before. I’ve become obsessed with chrysalis-watching, hoping to catch the moment of emergence (haven’t yet).

  3. What beautiful images! Since losing my zinnias to the rabbits, I’ve seen very few butterflies, so I especially enjoyed these photos. I think you have the best excuse ever for being late to work!

  4. Great photos of the butterflies… not surprising you are late for work! If you have a special technique for taking photos of butterflies … let’s us know… it is beyond me!

  5. A beautiful way to start the day by reading this blog. Never, never could those fluttering lovelies be repetitious. Wonderful that you don’t even have to leave home to see these delightful creatures.

  6. Grandson came home from his first day of kindergarten all excited because there was a caterpillar in the classroom and it was making its chrysalis. Did you know it will become a butterfly? Lovely photos.

    • This is a great thing to explore with kids. The little girl next door came over last year to see the newly hatched Monarchs come out of a couple of chrysalids we had raised inside.

  7. I love seeing all the butterfly photos — we have quite a few bees here in Quebec, but not so many butterflies….

  8. Beautiful garden visitors. Lots of Swallowtails in my garden this summer, many more than ever before, but hardly any the past two weeks.

    • I would like to see more Swallowtails, especially some different species. One year we had a Giant Swallowtail, but it never came back. I have host plants for Spicebush and Pipevine Swallowtails, but no takers yet apparently.

  9. It’s so exciting when we see butterflies fluttering about – they are absolutely loving the zinnias in my garden as well. The monarchs, especially, are plentiful this year. And LOVE the action shot with the monarch coming in for a landing – it obviously doesn’t care that it’s already occupied!

  10. You are lucky to have such a wonderful range of gorgeous butterflies in the garden. The only one of those we have is the Painted Lady.

    • And yet I am a bit disappointed there isn’t more variety – I have lots of host plants that aren’t being used as far as I can tell. But I do appreciate what we have.

  11. Great photos! I just saw perhaps a dozen Monarchs this morning at the Portage which is the largest number I have seen this year so I guess migration is in full swing.

  12. Lovely photos! We have had loads of Painted Ladies too. They love the thistles growing all around (and IN) the garden!

  13. It is a great butterfly time of year, isn’t it? These photos are so fabulous. Sometimes I think it would be awesome to live in a place where one could see butterflies every day…like, San Diego, maybe?

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