Today was an interesting time for seeing a variety of butterflies in my garden. Checking twice for a few minutes each time yielded some firsts for me, novice that I am. Nothing I saw is rare or unexpected for this county at this time of year, but it was exciting nonetheless to see so many different things here in one day.
Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) First of year (saw one last year August 15, 2019)
Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) First life sighting
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 3 yellow and 3 dark morphs (6 total).
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) (same individual as earlier judging by the missing tail)
American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) First life sighting
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) (spotted one earlier session but couldn’t get photo)
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
[Addendum: Later in the afternoon around 3:30 pm I saw a Black Swallowtail on zinnias in front yard, but had no camera handy.]
I spent most of the first session watching this beautiful creature with its gorgeous blue. It checked out verbena bonariensis briefly but once it found the lantana nearby it was content to stay put.
Just as the swallowtail drifted to the back side out of view, this amazing skipper landed beside me. The tail of the long-tailed skipper definitely stood out as did the blue coloration. I had about 5 seconds to enjoy it before it flew off.
While eating lunch I had seen a white butterfly flash by so I stepped back into the garden with the camera for session 2, but of course it was not in sight. I checked out the butterfly bush where six Eastern Tiger Swallowtails were hanging out.
A Silver-spotted Skipper landed out of nowhere. I have seen several this week. A quick photo shoot sent it off elsewhere, so I went back to the E. T. Swallowtails.
A Monarch landed on nearby Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and posed.
Moving to the southern border where the lantana is I spotted (probably the same) Pipevine Swallowtail again.
Across the garden I noticed action in the northern border. In the iris bed feeding on salvia is where I saw my first ever American Snout (Libytheana carinenta). I was not sure what it was but “snout” came to mind!
Taking one more glance around I spotted a Common Buckeye. I had seen one earlier but could not get a photo. Perhaps it was the same one, no way to know. Lovely and distinctive markings make it fun to see.
The white butterfly reappeared. It was a Cabbage White.