Sunday, July 24, 2016

Butterfly Garden Notes, July 24, 2016

It’s been a couple of weeks without any new monarch eggs on the milkweed.  The plants aren’t looking as attractive now due to aphids, milkweed bugs and some of the foliage dropping off.  Fortunately, there’s new growth so hopefully the plants will rejuvenate themselves and look a bit more appetizing in a few weeks.  I haven’t seen any monarchs in the garden at all lately.  Maybe they’ve been coming when I’m not there, but if so, I haven’t seen any eggs.

This past weekend was another heatwave.  We also had a fire nearby causing a lot of ash in the air.  On Saturday afternoon around 1 pm I went outside to hose some of the fallen ash off the plants.  Afterwards, I spotted a swallowtail on the ground on my front walkway.  It looked like he (or she) was drinking the water.  I ran to get my camera and took a few photos.  There were two of them flying together at one point, and then each of them took turns fluttering back and forth through the courtyard and in and out of my garden.  Neither held still very long in order for me to get many photos, but I did manage a few.

Besides the swallowtails, I finally managed to get a shot of a Fritillary.  It’s not the best image, as I was hanging out my front door trying not to scare him away.  The second I went outside and tried to walk around to get a better angle, he flew away.

I saw quite a few skippers and duskywings this weekend.  I picked up some new nectar flowers, more zinnia and also ‘Little One’ verbena bonariensis.  The skippers couldn’t wait to get on the verbena and one landed on it and started nectaring as I was carrying it from the car to my house!

I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more monarchs before the summer is over.

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