Butterfly Journal For 10/08/2021 – 10/14/2021

Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Butterfly sightings have dwindled significantly. Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 7 observations (6 species), bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 579 (30 species).

Butterfly Sightings 10/08/2021 –  10/14/2021

10/10/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
10/13/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
10/14/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
10/14/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1

We had one satisfying rain a week ago, just following my last report’s lament on how dry it had been. (It came Friday, October 8 and well into Saturday.) Then a series of days marked by heavy, portending gray clouds gave way to clear blue skies without producing rain.

There have been few photo opportunities this week. Precipitation brought a sigh of relief and optimism, but did not bring out butterflies here.  Plenty of flowers for them to feed on are still available should they arrive.

Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’

Salvia greggii ‘Furman’s Red’ (Autumn Sage)

My dahlias are double or semi-double which are not as easy for insects to feed upon as single dahlias would be, but zinnias and lantana are plentiful. (I ordered several singles but they didn’t survive.)

Lantana and Zinnias

I spotted one little hairstreak this week resting atop my passalong chrysanthemums, which are full of buds.

Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

Last year I saw an occasional butterfly into mid-November so I am hopeful the 2021 list will expand by a few more entries.

Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.

9 thoughts on “Butterfly Journal For 10/08/2021 – 10/14/2021

  1. Kris P

    When does butterfly season normally come to an end in your part of the country, Susie? I’m still seeing butterflies here but I can’t say we’ve ever been inundated with them this year. Our Senna is in bloom so the cloudless sulphurs are active but I rarely see any others except skippers.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It’s winding down I think. Last year I saw a few grass skippers and one monarch the middle of November. Glad you’re at least still seeing some butterflies. We are seeing similar ones then–just saw a couple skippers and a cloudless sulphur this afternoon, but otherwise it’s eerily still outside. It doesn’t feel like it’s been a great year for them in NC, judging from reading people’s reports.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks. Hmm, I became curious and counted! This year I’ve had 6 Gray Hairstreaks but 12 Red-banded Hairstreaks. Had I guessed I’d have said equal numbers. Better to count!

  2. Eliza Waters

    Your salvia are gorgeous and I imagine they make a fine banquet for butterflies, along with the zinnias and lantana.
    I was surprised to see a monarch and clouded sulphur today visiting my zinnias which are still blooming at this late date. (Frost here usually comes by the 3rd week in Sept.) It’s been in the 70s all week, but that is due to change, a cold front bringing us more autumnal weather. I’m of two minds about that!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Eliza. Exciting to know your butterflies are still able to enjoy the zinnias. The long shift toward autumn has had benefits but I know what you mean about being of two minds. Our frost date is about Oct 23. I’m hoping we get a little longer this year. Usually there’s a frost that ruins all the annuals and tender perennials, then it returns to summer for a few weeks, but everything is brown. Enjoy each day!

  3. theshrubqueen

    I think the salvias are definitely a nectar favorite. I am seeing Sulphurs, Monarchs, Zebras and I think a Ruddy Daggerwing (exciting)..amazed at how many varieties of skippers and hairstreaks there are. Do you get the white cabbage butterflies? White with purple spots.


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