Monday, May 30, 2016

Butterfly Garden Notes, 5/30/2016

The highlight of my day today was seeing this American Lady in my garden.  She (or he) seemed interested in the pink dahlia flowers that I had just moved from the patio and put out in front of the house.  None of the other butterflies have shown interest in this flower so far.  The bees didn't appear too interested in it either.  As soon as I saw the American Lady, I ran outside with the camera.  She moved from the dahlias to the coreopsis, and then just like that she was gone.  This is the second sighting of an American Lady in my garden.  I was glad I was quick enough with my camera this time in order to take a photo and make an identification.
With the cloudy days we've been having, the butterflies seem to start showing up around 3 pm when the sun finally burns through the clouds.  The morning temperatures have been on the cooler side in the 50s and 60s, but it's been warming up into the 70s later in the afternoon.  After 3 pm is also when my west facing bungalow gets full sun on the front porch where I have the plants.  (Not including the patio plants which is a 10'x4' small patio that faces south and is quite sunny most of the day.)  I suspect as the weather continues to warm up, I'll start seeing even more butterflies.

Besides the American Lady, I saw some Cabbage Whites sampling the different flowers, but I didn't get any photos of them today.  I also saw several Skippers and the Funereal Dusky Wing.  They were mostly on the coneflowers and coreopsis.  I continue to see what I believe is an Orange Sulphur fluttering about the courtyard, although it never seems to stop long enough or come by my bungalow for a long enough time to get a picture.
I should note that the monarch eggs are still on the milkweed on the patio and front porch.  In addition, two of the monarch caterpillars molted and are still truckin' along.  The larger of the 3 caterpillars may have even wandered off to form a chrysalis.  I saw him earlier in the day, but in the evening, he was either on a top leaf where I couldn't see him since the plants are on shelves, or he went to find a place to form a chrysalis.

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