Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving week feast for the butterflies

Butterflies have flocked to the back yard, especially in my wheel garden where milkweed and other flowering plants have enticed them to a Thanksgiving week feast.  We don't see a lot of Monarchs even though they are migrating through Texas to their winter home in Mexico, but a few found their way here this past weekend.

The Gomphrena 'Fireworks' attracts plenty of butterflies like this Monarch.  That's a Red Admiral flitting in the background.





Two Queen butterflies enjoy the Tropical Milkweed below and not sure about the top butterfly (maybe a Checkerspot?).  The yellow dots on the seed pod to the right are aphids which have since been removed.

This monarch caterpillar has been gently relocated to another part of the plant.


It also demonstrated impressive acrobatic abilities in the process.



The gold flowers in the background are narrowleaf zinna.  We'll have a bright bouquet for Thursday's table.


Our weather is due to remain mild through next week so we should enjoy these butterflies for a while longer. We are all feasting this week, people and butterflies alike.

23 comments:

  1. I think it`s so great we still have butterflies! Nice grabs.

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    1. Thanks Randy and it looks like frosty weather will hold off for a few more days so we're still enjoying them.

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  2. Beautiful butterfly pics! I'm kinda hoping for a late freeze so the butterflies will stick around longer.

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    1. Our average first freeze is Nov. 24th so we're looking good so far.

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  3. It has been wonderful weather for the butterflies. You know the thing they don't tell folks is milkweed is a host plant for many insects, including the disgusting ones.

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    1. It's a non-native but the butterflies are loving it and I'm keeping a look out for the aphids now that I found them. I need to figure out if there are any native options. I plan to add pipevine next year to attract swallowtails.

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  4. Extremely cool finds. So many people confuse the two but after living around them so long, you can pick out the differences between the two. I saw my first Monarch this year up in Phoenix and was excited! Love the lighting in your shots:)

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    1. The light is great this time of year and I take no credit for it. These photos are unedited, not even cropped.

      They still stump me a bit at first and I'm pretty sure I've mislabeled a few along the way but as you say once the Monarch pattern becomes distinctive to you it's a lot easier.

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  5. You sure captured some beautiful images, Shirley. I'm happy to see that butterflies that may have visited my Connecticut garden now are enjoying yours.

    Cheers,
    Lee

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    1. Thank you Lee, the progression of things in the garden is fascinating.

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your butterflies.

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    1. Thank you Ricki, Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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  7. I actually saw a lone monarch last week, and I thought why aren't you in Texas by now? It must have been a new hatch.

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    1. I hope it makes it South in time. Southwest Airlines recently transported a Monarch to San Antonio from somewhere in New England (I think) and they had a big ceremonial release at the botanical garden here.

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  8. Very nice shots of beautiful monarchs. We don't have them here.

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    1. No Monarchs? They do have a big west coast migration but it must go a different route.

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  9. Lovely photo's of beautiful butterflies! I must also try harder to get a few pics. Great job!

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    1. I'd love to see butterflies from your corner of the world LT.

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  10. How lovely - such beautiful pics! Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  11. Beautiful photos! I especially loved the ones of the caterpillar. We've had several freezes so far this year - early for us. Hope you and your butterflies have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  12. Pretty pretty pretty! Great photos Shirley. My garden is a butterfly magnet right now too - but my picture taking...well...I just can't capture them. I need to work on this. ha!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. :)

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  13. Lovely photos of the butterflies, and the acrobatic caterpillars.

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