Monday, July 4, 2016

Butterfly Garden Notes, July 1 - 4, 2016

What an action packed butterfly weekend!  Two monarchs were born in my garden!  

Friday afternoon, I came home to find a brand new monarch butterfly had emerged.  She had not yet taken off, and my husband was able to take some photos and a short video of her before I was able to get home.  Thankfully, she stayed until I arrived.  What a beautiful creature!  She was on the potting table for a while testing her new wings.  Then she fluttered off and ended up underneath it where there are a lot of spider webs.  I watched her trying to crawl back up, but she kept slipping off the rake she was climbing up.  I bent down, put my finger next to her and she climbed onto it.  As soon as I stood up and stretch out my arm, she took her first flight up into the trees.  It was  magical!  

On Fourth of July morning, the second chrysalis that was out front attached to a passion flower vine was starting to look dark.  Around 1:30 in the afternoon, another female monarch emerged.  I was able to get some photos of her just after she came out.  She hung around on the passion flower vine for a few hours before testing out her wings.  Then she started to head towards the corner of the step where there are a lot of spider webs.  (My garden is actually full of spiders which is kind of a good thing since it keeps away a lot of pests.)  Before she got caught, I offered her my finger and she climbed on it.  I walked her to the milkweed on the porch and just as I put my finger next to it, she flew up over the house and she was gone.

Two monarch butterflies on the same weekend was a pretty awesome experience!

There were at least two other monarchs who came by to visit my garden on both Saturday and Sunday.  Both of which were laying eggs so with any luck, there will be more caterpillars soon.

As for other visitors I saw skippers, american lady, duskywing, gray hairstreak, marine blue, and for a split second I spotted a swallowtail.  I’m not sure what kind it was.  By the time I was able to run outside with the camera, it was gone.

Some photos I took are below.

Friday morning.  Chrysalis was dark and wings visible.
A perfect female.
Testing her wings.
Two Marine Blues
This female's wings were tattered.  She laid eggs on the milkweed both Saturday and Sunday.
Gray Hairstreak
The second monarch born in my garden.  July 4, 2016.
Perfect wings.

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