Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday Vignette: Butterflies! (In my own garden!)

Last month, I published a post on the butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens in Maryland but now I'm pleased to say I have photos of some butterflies in my own garden.  In recent years, I've bemoaned the relative dearth of butterflies here but I've noticed a definite uptick in these winged visitors in the past month.  Whether the population increase is attributable to our wetter-than-normal winter, or additions to my ever-growing collection of plants, they are most certainly welcome.

For today's Wednesday Vignette, a feature hosted by Anna at Flutter & Hum, I'm sharing a few of the photos I've captured over the past couple of weeks.

This is a Marine Blue (Leptotes marina), identified by a few people after I posted an earlier photo.  It's very tiny and almost impossible to photograph with its wings open but you can find one photo of it with open wings showing its blue color here.  In my garden, Cuphea 'Starfire Pink' is its favorite haunt but I caught it here on Hebe 'Wiri Blush'.

I believe this is West Coast Lady (Vanessa anabella), which I first detected last week enjoying a sudden flush of bloom on Callistemon 'Cane's Hybrid'

The Zinnias in my cutting garden have been a magnet for both bees and butterflies.  This is a Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae).

There are 2 Fiery Skippers (Hylephila phyleus) on this Zinnia.  I believe the one in the rear is a male attempting to mate.  He followed the skipper in front every time she moved from one flower to another.

I collected a number of photos of West Coast Lady butterflies but most had their wings at least partially closed and many of those wings were tattered.  This one allowed me to get a photograph of her (his?) intact wings fully open.

This may or may not be the same butterfly captured in the preceding photo.  There were numerous West Coast Ladies flitting around through the Zinnias.


Visit Anna for more Wednesday Vignettes.


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

22 comments:

  1. So glad your personal butterfly "collection" is growing!

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    1. It seems that the Zinnias may have turned things around when it comes to attracting butterflies.

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  2. Great pictures of the butterflies! Maybe my plans to change my raised veggie beds to cutting beds next year will have the same draw. I hope so.

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    1. I was surprised by the level of interest the bees and the butterflies have in the cutting garden, Alison. For the last few years, the only butterflies I can recall seeing in significant numbers were the sulphur butterflies, which are attracted to my Senna bicapsularis.

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  3. Kris, these pictures are wonderful! I love butterflies, bees and hummingbirds in the garden, they are flowers with wings.

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    1. "Flowers with wings" - I love that description, MDN!

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  4. I love the color of the zinnias.

    Let's look at the three "painted ladies" and I'll give you some tips to tell them apart.

    American lady is the easiest and rarest for us. It has a white spot in the orange visible on both topside (dorsal) and bottom side (ventral). Unique.
    http://socalbutterflies.com/nymphalidae_html/american_lady.htm


    Now let's look at the leading edge of the topside of the forewing of the other two. For the west coast lady the first spot in from the tip is white and the second is orange. For the painted lady (Vanessa cardui) the first AND SECOND spots are white, easy to identify if you looking at the topside.

    The undersides of both of these are a little more difficult. Both have four spots on the lower wing, but on the west coast lady all the spots are approximately the same size, while on the painted lady they are different sizes
    http://socalbutterflies.com/nymphalidae_html/painted_lady.htm
    http://socalbutterflies.com/nymphalidae_html/wcoast_lady.htm

    I always look for the orange second spot on topside of the leading edge of the west coast lady first. it's the easiest marker.



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  5. Glad that you have such a nice collection of "flying flowers" in your garden. Thanks for letting us in on the beauty!

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    1. Now, if I can only manage to get some photos of the local hummingbirds...

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  6. What a nice collection of visitors! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. And thank you for visiting and commenting, Rebecca!

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  7. Nice shots, Kris! And so glad you got some of your own... I have had the worst time photographing those fluttering little things. I have yet to manage a single one! Won't stop me from trying though...

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    1. It may be that the Zinnias have a hypnotic effect on the butterflies, Anna - they do stay put longer than anywhere else in the garden.

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  8. I'm seeing less butterflies this year which may be due to the extreme heat or the intensive farming happening around us. It is interesting that you have very similar but not identical butterflies to the ones I see here.

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    1. We have similar butterflies due to the similarities of our climates perhaps?

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  9. A swallowtail wafted in a couple days ago, and everyone gasped. They're all such a wonderful bonus to the summer garden. Glad you're getting lots of these charming visitors!

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    1. A swallowtail sighting is a good reason to celebrate. I haven't seen one here in quite some time.

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  10. Winged beauties, joy in flight! A garden doesn't feel complete without them. :)

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    1. "Joy in flight" - another great way of describing them!

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  11. wonderful butterflies and wonderful pics. I love the Marine blue one, since it is tiny you did really well capturing the details.

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    1. You wouldn't believe the time I spent ineffectively trying to get a photo of one of those Marine blue butterflies with wings open, Sue. My brother (who is much better at exercises of this sort than I am) told me that he's only succeeded in doing this when the butterflies pause to mate.

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