With the sun’s penchant for playing hide-n-seek in recent weeks, it’s been a slow-go for butterfly watching. If it’s not vomiting rain, it’s cloudy, and neither scenario is conducive for butterfly activity. But during the increasingly common moments of sunshine, the winged jewels are out and about, nectaring, mating and laying eggs–and posing for garden paparazzi.
Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes, like this gorgeous specimen,
…are common visitors. I’ve invited them by having their host plant, fennel, in my gardens. They lay their eggs on it for the hatched caterpillars to eat. This adult is nectaring on a Henry Duelberg Sage, Salvia farinacea ‘Henry Duelberg’. He fluttered still long enough for the wildlife gardener to snap a couple of shots.
There was one, ONE, Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, who visited my gardens this spring, but she was a late-comer.
Given her good condition, I’m sure she was one that hatched from a parent who overwintered in Mexico, migrated north, mated, laid eggs and died here in Austin, or nearby.
In this post I’m going for the big, gorgeous, cheap-thrill butterflies that alight on flowers, remain relatively still and that anyone can take photos of. There have been plenty fast-flying skippers and smaller butterflies/moths that I haven’t captured in digital form for posterity, but there are some nice shots of this little moth.
The Small Pink Moth, Pyrausta inornatalis, is another regular in my garden and so pretty in its pink scales.
The generous rainfall and soft spring have encouraged an abundance of life in the garden and after years of moderate to severe drought here in Central Texas, that life is welcome. I hope the insects in your garden are enjoying spring and playing their important pollinator roles–ensuring the balance that is challenged on so many fronts.