Another busy week is done that left little time for the garden. There were warm, humid days, stormy days, bright days with the bluest sky imaginable and on this sunny first of October morning the air has a refreshing chill (before warming to 78°F).
On the last few days of September, in brief segments measured merely in minutes, I wandered the garden to recharge, each time finding some small delight.
I have had a few monarchs visit each year but Tuesday marked the first time I have seen a viceroy. Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) is distinguished by the black line across the veins on its hind wings.
I spotted another yesterday (or perhaps the same one returned, but I think the black vein looks thinner).
My incarnations of Dahlia ‘Cafe Au Lait’ have not always been true to the catalogs but one plant in particular sometimes throws up a pretty one.
There were several other butterflies of note, a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) and a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). These are commonly sighted where I live but fairly infrequent in my garden.
A few dianthus plants are blooming more easily now the weather is cooler. How is this for a colorful greeting?
The small skippers were everywhere midsummer but numbers have declined significantly in the past 5-6 weeks. iNaturalist is my goto source to identify skippers (mostly fieries, ocolas). I found another clouded skipper this week.
An interesting creature, if not the loveliest, this grasshopper tried to hide from the camera.
I will finish with a quick video of the black swallowtail, frenetically searching for sustenance among lantana flowers.
Your butterfly’s photos are really good shots. I need to look more closely for a Viceroy. I tend to assume any butterfly that looks like that is a Monarch.
Thanks Judy. I did assume monarch also, but up close you’ll be able to notice right away something is different.
I always enjoy your butterfly pics, Susie. I’ve seen remarkably few here this year, although I did see one, probably a gulf fritillary, flit by my office window just a moment ago. I also saw what I think was probably a western tiger swallowtail a week ago but, once I grabbed my camera, my pursuit was for naught.
Thanks Kris. I’ve seen a few different ones today but can’t get them to pose quietly for me! I’d like to see your western tiger swallowtail.
Lovely to see the butterflies and your D. ‘Cafe au Lait’. The Viceroy is new to me too.
Glad you enjoyed them today. The butterflies have been exciting this year.
I have enjoyed seeing all the beautiful creatures in your garden this summer Susie. The black swallowtail is really pretty. Great photos!
Thanks so much Cathy. The butterflies have brought me a lot of pleasure this summer and I’m happy you’ve enjoyed seeing them too.
Delightful post, Susie. Lots of beautiful butterflies and flowers… what’s not to love?? 🙂
Thanks Eliza! The butterflies and flowers have been such an uplift to me this summer. Glad you enjoyed them too.
Beautiful flowers + beautiful visitors = happy readers. 🙂
Judy, you’re delightful. I always am happy to hear from you. Hope all is well.
You’ve had some stunning butterfly visitors! I’ve seen Viceroys many times, but I do think your photos of the species are among the most beautiful I’ve seen. Gorgeous! And I’ve long thought I’d like to add ‘Cafe au Lait’ to my collection; it’s so graceful…and that color!
Beautiful images of your wildlife, Susie. Glad they can enjoy fine weather. Here it’s terrible with rain and storm, quite a change to September and for now the butterflies are in hiding. Hope your husband is feeling better and that you continue to find comfort and strength in your garden. Have a nice weekend!
Annette, thanks! My husband may be returning home soon from rehab. Hope your October days improve. Glad you were able to enjoy a getaway to recharge.
ah, that’s good news! as for my break: a couple of days were not really enough but the change was welcome
Hope you get another chance to get away again soon. Stay well and enjoy
‘Cafe au Lait’ can be so variable. Some pictures depict it as quite pink. Yours happens to look more like I expect it to look, in very subdued pink. You know, I have never seen it directly.
I am not properly convinced ever seen one either, but this does look close.
Lucky you with your Viceroy visitors. I don’t think I have ever seen one. Nice shots of the Buckeye.
Thanks Jason. Yes, the Viceroy was a complete surprise. Instantly recognizable.