Monday, July 18, 2011

Butterflies from this Week

   With summer beginning to heat up, we've been seeing many more butterflies lately. Skippers are by far the most numerous, but photographing them has proved to be more challenging than even the larger butterflies. Here's a few of the highlights...

   This is a Northern Cloudywing, the first one I've seen and identified. It spent all day going back and forth between my catnip plants, apparently the tiny nepeta blossoms were just the right size for this diminutive butterfly. Considering the size and dark color of the Northern Cloudywing, they'd be easy to miss if you weren't paying close attention.

   This is a Red Banded Hairstreak, another uncommon visitor. However, it's so small, around 3/4 inch, maybe I just miss them. Sumac, their host plant, is quite common around here so we probably have more than we realize. They pack a lot of beauty into a tiny package.

   We don't like dill, but these guys sure do. I planted two tiny dill plants back in the spring for the butterflies, but I hadn't paid them much attention since then. I stressed way too much over the monarchs and promised myself I'd adopt a laissez-faire attitude next time. I'd seen some black swallowtails lately, and obviously they found my dill.

   Despite having monarch caterpillars this spring, this is the first monarch butterfly I've seen. Here it's enjoying the anise hyssop. I freaked out when I saw it and ran for the camera, this the best I could do. After not seeing one for so long, it looked so exotic!

   I hope they keep coming!


  1. Excellent photos, Julie! You seem to be up to the challenge.

    I've seen a few skippers...and I must agree more of them than the larger butterlies.

    Interesting that we are both posting about butterflies...but you have pictures to prove it! :) (I rarely post without pictures, but wanted to document that I've seen them even it they were just passing through when I didn't have the camera with me.

  2. Hi Julie,
    NIce photos of the butterflies. We too have not seen any Monarchs this year. Kind of worrying. I'm glad one stopped by your yard.