Sharing The Garden

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Multiple heavy storms this week have my friends complaining, “Enough water!” but by some fluke of nature, promising dark clouds bypassed my neighborhood day after day, time and again. So this afternoon when a nice steady rain started up, I welcomed it readily.

One benefit of the need to be out watering yesterday morning was the enjoyment of seeing bees and hummingbirds sipping from the flowers. I also spotted a beautiful butterfly atop Echinacea purpurea, so came back out later with my camera. I welcome corrections because my identification skills are woefully undeveloped and potentially unreliable, but according to me, this one is Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia).

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeyes are found all over the United States, except in the Northwest. And supposedly here in the south where I live, they are well, rather true to their name, common; however, I do not see them commonly, so one picture was not enough.

When the butterfly is fresh its eye spots have a lavender tint.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Here the butterfly is sharing politely with a bee. There is a little sliver missing from its upper left wing.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Eventually the butterfly drifted toward the ground to light upon Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox).

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Its ventral wing coloring is lighter in spring and summer, helping to camouflage itself. In fall and winter the color darkens to a rosier hue.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Another insect that caught my attention yesterday was the Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus). It is also is found abundantly in this area of North Carolina. For the longest time I tried to discern shades of coloring and markings (chevrons, smudges, spots?) to identify if this is male or female. Still not sure, but I am guessing female.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) On Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

The club-shaped ends of the antennae are black on the outside and orange on the inside.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

I will close with a look at one flower I am especially enjoying this week. It is a striking shade of my favorite garden color—blue. The black calyces and stems add contrast and drama.

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue'

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

34 thoughts on “Sharing The Garden

  1. Pauline

    Stunning photos of your beautiful butterfly, it doesn’t matter that they are common, their markings are a work of art! I love it once the butterflies start fluttering round the garden, we sometimes get a skipper here but a different one from you. Love your Salvia, such a beautiful shade of blue.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you so much Pauline. Nature has such expressive, abstract patterns, doesn’t it? I hope these are correctly identified, but certainly they are beautiful.

      Reply
  2. Julie

    Susie, love this post, you have taken some wonderful photographs, but especially photo 5, its a cracking shot! Your Common Buckeye is very handsome and the Fiery Skipper has a great name. Glad you are getting some rain too.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Oh Julie, thanks. I really like that photo too. The rain this afternoon was a nice one. It’s funny (and frustrating) hearing my friend describe the biblical quantities of rain they’d been getting, while we were dry as a bone.

      Reply
  3. tropicfan

    number 5 photo is my favourite too but I love them all. I can understand you wanting to take all those shots, I get carried away taking shots of Monarchs at the moment, they seem to be all over the garden and chase some of the smaller birds

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks! Enjoy those Monarchs–they are mesmerizing. They travel through here in late summer/fall, but last year the numbers were very small.

      Reply
  4. AnnetteM

    Lovely shots of your butterfly. I haven’t seen that one before. It certainly does have stunning markings. The salvia is rather special too. I enjoyed this post – thanks.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Rickii, it deserves some praise. Now that I’ve paid attention to one, hope I’ll see more around. Butterflies are so hard to identify I think.

      Reply
  5. Stephi

    What beautiful photos. I am always amazed at the detail of butterfly markings. You were lucky to have him be so patient. Glad you got some rain.

    Reply
  6. homeslip

    Exquisite photos. I think butterflies really bring a garden to life. We had a good downpour here in the UK south east last night and after record temperatures this week it was very welcome.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you–butterflies are pure delight. Glad your garden had a thirst-quenching drink. We had another rain overnight thankfully.

      Reply
  7. Frogend_dweller

    Your pictures of the Common Buckeye are beautiful. I wouldn’t have stopped at one either! Hurray for some rain. We are finally get a little here in East Anglia too.

    Reply
  8. gardeninacity

    Great photos! We don’t have the buckeye butterflies, at least not in my garden. Interesting that this is one of the butterflies that is more colorful when it spreads its wings.

    Reply
  9. Meihsiu Hsiao

    You have a vibrant and beautiful garden, I like.
    Recently, my garden there are a lot of butterflies emerge, but their flight speed so fast, I think patience is the best way to enjoy them. 🙂

    Reply

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