October’s Beginning

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Immortality is a reblooming iris that has been surprising me with fresh blooms.

Thursday I had a fun but frustrating few minutes chasing a Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax).

(iNaturalist originally suggested this was Red-spotted Admiral (Limenitis arthemis) but the identification has been updated by two reviewers. The only other time I’ve recorded one in my garden is August 29, 2015. It may also have been incorrectly identified. Will have to check on that.)

Much quicker than I, this one escaped several close-up portraits so I can only show drastically cropped images.

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax) (earlier misidentified as Red-spotted Admiral)
Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax) (earlier misidentified as Red-spotted Admiral)

I rely heavily on iNaturalist for identifications but its artificial intelligence algorithms are imperfect. It suggested Polites peckius, the Peck’s skipper for the next, but in fact the insect is yet another of the much more common Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus). When after a few hours no iNaturalist reviewer had seconded that id I submitted the images to Carolina Leps (Butterflies and Moths), a Facebook forum with local and willing experts. So okay, plenty of fieries this year.

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

For a week I have spotted a yellow butterfly sailing high across the garden and finally yesterday managed a quick shot of a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae). Generally butterflies prefer flowers which are single in form, but the cloudless stopped at several of the frilly, fringed Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’. Who could resist it!

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

I have seen several clouded skippers this year and posted one earlier in the week. This one landed yesterday on a segment of verbena bonariensis that still has fresh flowers. Most have gone to seed. These images captured the markings and detail of Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius), so I am sharing them here for reference.

Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)
Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)
Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

Hope you had a chance to marvel at October’s harvest moon. Enjoy a fine weekend and thanks for reading.

22 thoughts on “October’s Beginning

  1. krispeterson100

    You have no end of beautiful visitors it seems! I suspect you have more patience and persistence in stalking butterflies than I possess too. There are usually a lot of cloudless suphurs here in the fall when the Sennas bloom but, thus far, both Sennas and butterflies seem to be biding their time, probably waiting for temperatures to come down and stay down.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I loved the butterfly house at the fling and have been more interested in finding some here. Have your weather settles down. Have a good weekend, Kris.

  2. tonytomeo

    ‘Immortality’ seems to be the standard white bearded iris nowadays. I have never grown it. There are already four white bearded iris out there, although two may be the same. They bloom only once, but I think it is weird for bearded iris to bloom again anyway.

  3. Chris Mousseau

    Gorgeous butterflies!! I dug up all my reblooming white Iris a few ago! They spread so quickly, in just a few years the rhizomes were three layers thick which seemed to drastically inhibit the reblooms.

  4. digwithdorris

    Your butterflies are the beauties I have only ever seen in books or the natural history museum. How wonderful to see them for yourself. I love the yellow one. Delightful

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Happy to share the butterflies. I imagine you have some beauties as well
      that are very different. They are a recent interest and it’s fascinating but I am a novice at identifying them.

  5. Beth@PlantPostings

    Your garden is beautiful in October! Usually, I see many butterflies still at the beginning of October, but I’m seeing very few this October. I’m not sure why. Maybe early migration. I’d say it was because of neighborhood pesticide spraying, but I’m not seeing many butterflies even when I’m hiking. Oh well, they will be back next spring.

  6. Cathy

    Lovely photos again Susie. Isn’t the Verbena bonariensis a precious flower! We could see the moon in clear skies here several nights in a row. Always love to see a full moon. 😀


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