Sunday, June 11, 2017

Butterfly Garden Notes, June 9, 10, and 11

Lots of larger caterpillars this weekend!  Fingers crossed all of them make it to become adult butterflies.  The male monarch (if it's the same one) is still flying around the garden.  He was even here on Sunday when the sun was going in and out from behind the clouds most of the day.  Also saw the regulars;  duskywing, skippers.  I should also mention on Friday, I saw what I think was a Marine Blue.  I was inside on the phone and didn't get to run out and see.  I only saw it from the window, but pretty sure that's what it was.  

I should also note I visited the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers & Native Plants again to pick up some more native plants for my garden.  Really loving these natives!  This time around I picked up:  red fairy duster, aster chilensis 'point saint george' and verbena lilacina.

Here are some photos from the past few days.

June 10, 2017

June 9, 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

Butterfly Garden Notes, June 3 & 4, Descanso Gardens, Theodore Payne Foundation and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

I didn't have a lot of time to butterfly watch in my own garden this weekend.  I did, however, notice a very tattered female monarch coming around to lay eggs on the milkweed.  There were also many skippers present and a duskywing.  I'm still seeing a very large number of small monarch caterpillars on the milkweed and some of them are surviving long enough to make it to at least the 2nd instar.

On Saturday morning I did my usual morning hike around Descanso Gardens.  I saw this cabbage white in the native California section of the garden.
Later that afternoon, I visited the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants.  It was my first time visiting and I was so impressed.  I learned so much in just one visit.  Everything is very well laid out and organized.  The volunteers are friendly and very informative.  I also did a short hike up Wild Flower Hill which is accessible from the nursery.  The trail leads you on a journey through some of California's most beautiful native plants including California buckwheat, wild flowers, sages, cacti and so much more. It's home to an abundance of wildlife including bobcat, coyote, mule deer and many species of reptiles to name a few. In addition, it's also a great place for bird watching. I had a great time here today and came home with some new native plants for my butterfly garden.  Here are some of my purchases:

California Buckwheat, (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum)
Deerweed, Acmispon glaber (Lotus scoparius)  
Golden Yarrow, Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum
Seaside Daisy, Erigeron glaucus
San Luis Obispo Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa ssp. obispoensis

On Sunday, I visited the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden  It's the largest garden dedicated to California native plants and also hosts a butterfly pavilion. Here are some of the butterfly photos.

Variable Checkerspot
Monarchs on native, Narrow Leaf Milkweed
Gulf Fritillary on Cleveland Sage
Cabbage White and California Dogface on Seaside Daisy
Common Buckeye
Gulf Fritillary nectaring on a butterfly feeder

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Butterfly Garden Notes, May 28 - May 29, 2017

This weekend I saw a Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) in my butterfly garden.  It spent most of its time nectaring on the butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii).  It arrived around 11 am and stayed for several hours.  A male Monarch has been showing up around 10 or 10:30 am for the past several days.  I can’t help but wonder if he was born in my garden.  He'll come and go throughout the day and stays until late afternoon.
I checked the milkweed in the front of the house and on patio and all plants are loaded with monarch eggs.  There were at least six new monarch caterpillars on the patio milkweed and I'm sure there are caterpillars in the front garden, although since those plants aren't high up on shelves, they're harder to spot unless I go around turning the leaves over.  
A Gulf Fritillary was spotted fluttering around the zinnia although I wasn't able to get a photograph.  As usual the skippers were plentiful and also a few dusky wings came by for a bite to eat.

May 28, 2017
Mourning Cloak

 Male Monarch
 Fiery Skipper
 Funereal Duskywing
Male Monarch

May 29, 2017
Mourning Cloak
 Fiery Skipper

 Funereal Duskywing

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Butterfly Garden Notes, May 21, - May 23, 2017

May 21, 2017

There has been a steady flow of monarchs visiting my garden to lay eggs.  I've also seen quite a few caterpillars both in the front garden as well as on the few milkweed plants I have on the back patio.  I try not to disturb the pots too much because when I do, that's when I usually find the caterpillars and I don't want to accidentally squash them by moving things around.  I've also seen baby praying mantises both in the front garden and on the patio which isn't good for the caterpillars, but that's nature.  I saw the first fritillary of the year fluttering around the courtyard and then stopping by to nectar on the zinnia.  The usual crew is also present:  cabbage whites, skippers, sulphers, and dusky wings.  Here are some images I took with my good camera over the weekend.

I love it when I'm able to catch them in flight.
May 23, 2017
This caterpillar was on the milkweed plant on the back patio last night.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, May 2017

I've been a little lax with my monthly postings to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but I finally got around to writing a post.  If you've been following my blog, you know I have a very small space and my entire garden is in pots.  Last year I started a butterfly garden, so that my garden wouldn't just look pretty, it would serve a purpose.  All of the plants I have are either host or nectar plants for butterflies and caterpillars.  They also serve as a nectar source for hummingbirds and bees.  Some of the plants I grow include:  milkweed, rue, passionflower vine, fennel, zinnia, verbena bonariensis, pincushion flower, lavender, lantana, cleome pentas and butterfly bush to name a few.  It's not summer just yet and the weather has been fluctuation between cool and hot, but on the warm days, I have been seeing lots of butterflies, especially monarchs, and I have lots of monarch caterpillars on the milkweed.  Here are just a few photos of my 2017 Butterfly Garden.
(Taken on May 21, 2017)

Please visit May Dreams Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, the web site that hosts this day for gardeners all over the world to share what they are growing in their gardens.