Timing is Everything

I brought home a pod of butterfly weed seeds over two decades ago.

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I got it while on a trip with my sister and one of our college friends.

I planted the seeds along this bank.

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Danaus plexippus on Asclepias tuberosa

It has taken years for the plants to mature.

My dream was to see them covered in Monarchs.

Maybe some have come before while I was not watching.

This year most of my butterfly weed has finished blooming, except for this one plant.

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The Monarch(s) came two days ago.

As I pulled up my driveway yesterday.

I saw my dream.

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Monarch butterfly on Butterfly weed.

A lone Monarch on the one plant that was a late bloomer.

I ran for my camera.

After taking many photos, I stood and reveled in my good fortune.

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The timing of the Butterfly weed still blooming, the Monarch visiting, my arriving home while it was there and getting my camera in time to capture it all.

Everything is a miracle.

Flow

Living Up to its Name

My butterfly bush was as busy as an airport yesterday.

This is a Black Knight Buddleia with deep purple blooms.

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It was covered by dozens of butterflies yesterday evening.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Black Knight Buddleia

Along with the various types of butterflies were several Hummingbird Clearwing moths.

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Hummingbird Clearwing Moth/ Hemaris thysbe

and a lone MONARCH!

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I was so glad to have my camera. This is the first Monarch butterfly I have seen this year.

I love watching all the fliers sharing the flowers.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Silver-Spotted Skipper

Flow

Lessons from a Butterfly

I have been watching this one for days.

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I have been wondering how it could possibly fly with that tattered wing.

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It has been feeding on the butterfly bush along with all the perfect butterflies.

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I watched it fly this morning.

No bobbing, swooping or gliding like the normal butterfly flight.

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It was rapidly beating its wings, no meandering.

This one was all business about staying up and going somewhere.

Thank you sister. You are today’s inspiration.

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FLOWER can fly again, too.

Lovin’ some Larvae

Butterflies do not just hatch from the egg with wings.

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Fritillary Butterfly

They must first go through a larval stage called caterpillar.

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Variegated Fritillary caterpillar on Passion vine

Then they have to bind themselves up for a while to go through metamorphosis.

While they are wrapped up(pupating) in the chrysalis (not pictured),

all their cells rearrange into a butterfly or moth.  Then they have their wings.

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Sphinx moth caterpillar on Four o’clocks

Now everybody loves butterflies and colorful moths.

What if we went around killing all the weird and spiky worms in our yards?

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Fritillary caterpillar after molting

Then there would be no lovely fliers later, because everyone killed them as babies.

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Gulf Fritillary caterpillar on Passion vine

If you don’t ” love some larvae”, leave them alone.

They are waiting for their wings.

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FLOWER

Tattered Wings: Still Flying

Mama Nature is quietly teaching me another lesson.

I have been chasing butterflies, you see.

Not all of them are beautiful and perfect.

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Many have tattered wings.

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They still fly like the rest.

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They have survived some damage.

Maybe a lizard’s bite, or a spider web’s tether or a hungry bird’s claws or beak.

Maybe they were battered by a storm.

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They have lost pieces of themselves that will never grow back,

but they are still flying.

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fLOWer

Chasing Butterflies

If you are not crazy yet, try chasing butterflies.

I am not talking about the sweet Swallowtails.

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They soar purposefully in the direction of their destination

then land on a flower and spend hours eating and ignoring everything else.

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I am also not referring to the beautiful Buckeyes

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Common Buckeye/ Junonia coenia

who flit like twirly leaves before landing on a sedum to spend the day.

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American Lady/ Vanessa virginiensis

Nor the American Lady which stays put, but seldom opens her wings for a peek at their upper-side colors.

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Not the tiny little Gray Hairstreak either, with its tail appendages that move like antennae.

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Gray Hairstreak/ Strymon melinus

Not even the Cloudless Sulfur that zig zags around and then lands on green things so you can’t find it.

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Cloudless Sulfur/ Phoebis sennae

The “pic-tease” of the butterfly world is the Monarch.

It has played my like a paparazzi this week.

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Monarch/ Danaus plexippus

On Sunday I quietly stalked it for sometime, then shamelessly ran down the drive after it.

When I finally came to my senses and returned to the  house to fold laundry,

it coasted across in front of my bedroom window and looked in.

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On Monday  I took a photo break to give the neighbor’s dog a bone.

I looked out the front door as I closed it to see the Monarch glide across the porch.

Who’s zoomin’ who?

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This game went on for days until finally, it settled itself for a few precious minutes on some garlic blooms.

It stayed just long enough for me to snap a few, not-so-great photos.

I am glad the Monarch is savvy.   I fear for its future.

It’s a long way to the forests of central Mexico and much of its forest has been logged or blown down by storms.

I love all butterflies, but the tricky little Monarch has a special place in my paparazzi heart.

FLOWER

 

 

 

 

 

My Friends the Fliers

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Humming bird on a dogwood tree.
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Hornet eating a fig.
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Damselfly in distress.
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Fritillary Butterfly on Buddlea
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Dragon fly on a stick.
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Swallowtail on a sedum.
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Dragon fly on a lamp.
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Humming bird at a feeder.
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Pearl Crescent on Black-eyed Susan bloom.
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Hawk Moth at Butterfly bush.
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Swallowtail on a butterfly bush.
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Bumble bee on a fig leaf.
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Cicada on wooden post.

 

Follow the Fliers!

Admiring a Red Admiral

It’s butterfly time in the garden.

I especially like this colorful fellow, the Red Admiral/ Vanessa atalonta.

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He must have stopped by on his way somewhere else.

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Rested and drank from some garlic flowers.

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Before moving on.

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We enjoyed the brief visit.

The FLOWER loves fliers.