Today was 110 degrees in Pasadena (ridiculous), and by evening it was still in the 90s. I watered the garden a second time around 6 pm, and while I was outside squatting down to water one of the potted rose bushes I spotted a Gulf Fritillary. It was flying around landing in the grass less then a foot away from me. I wish I’d had my camera! I’ve seen them in my garden over the years, but so far this year I have only see one, and it didn’t stay for very long.
As I moved from the roses to water the plants on the porch I spotted a little white skipper. At this point I realized there was still some serious butterfly action going on, so I asked my husband to bring me my camera so I could take some pictures. I’m not sure what kind of skipper this is, exactly. It kept its wings closed most of the time while it was nectaring, so I didn’t get any photos with them open to make a proper identification.
What happened next caught me by surprise and steered my attention away from the skipper… There was a 5th instar monarch caterpillar crawling on the ground across the front porch! I am not 100% certain, but I have a strong feeling that this is the same caterpillar that was on the milkweed on the patio who crawled away Sunday evening. Every day I inspect the front porch milkweed for caterpillars, and so far I’ve only seen a few little ones that don’t seem to last very long. Maybe this crazy caterpillar just came by to say hi one more time! Or maybe it was a completely different caterpillar that I somehow missed. Regardless, I laid my finger down on the ground, and he crawled up onto it. I put him on the milkweed where he continued to chomp away the rest of the evening. He was still there this morning.
The entire time I was watering this pretty little cabbage white was fluttering around. I took a photo of her after she perched herself in the Queen Anne’s Lace for the night and decided to have a “sleep over”. She was still there resting this morning.
Lastly, I took some photos these caterpillars on the dill on the patio. They are finally getting big enough to see and identify. I think they may be anise or maybe black swallowtail caterpillars, and there are at least 4 of them that are growing bigger and bigger each day.
Despite the heat, it was a busy night in my butterfly garden!