Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 4 observations (4 species), bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 583 (30 species).
Butterfly Sightings 10/15/2021 – 10/21/2021
10/15/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/15/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
10/16/2021 Pearl Crescent – Phyciodes tharos 1
10/21/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
None of the butterflies stayed around long enough for more than quick snapshots. With the Pearl Crescent the time was only enough to recognize and record its presence with an obscure image.
Last weekend there were promises and some reports of rain throughout the region but nothing more here than a brief splash. Though there are still plenty of flowers on the Lantana camara (Common lantana), skippers have all but disappeared from their favorite nectar source in my garden.
In mid-October despite their now deeply mildewed foliage, zinnias continue to provide a resounding zing of color to the borders. I’ve been in no hurry to clear them, preferring to enjoy for myself the pops of pink, orange and yellow that dominated this year’s crop, knowing too butterflies might enjoy them. Yesterday I embodied an old clichéd phrase: my heart soared when I spotted a fresh female monarch nectaring on the zinnias.
Occasional sightings are possible into next month but butterfly season here is coming to a close.
The summer is winding down. I will see an occasional butterfly here in the winter months, but I think we are warmer. The winter forecast for here is warm and dry.
Our forecast is similar but you probably are much warmer. A few weeks ago I was a bit sad, but now I’m reconciled to not seeing butterflies for a while. Monitoring them was fun but did also seem like a responsibility once I’d started the project.
Well, your journal is fantastic and you can review it during the winter blues.
Your monarch is colour co-ordinated with your Zinnia, very good! I think our butterfly season has ended, I haven’t seen any for at least a week now as our temperatures have plummeted.
Have you already had a frost Pauline? I’ve enjoyed watching our butterflies this year and seeing yours too.
No frost yet for us in the south, but it has started in Scotland and the north of England so won’t be long before it reaches here.
Your Monarch photos are splendid, Susie. You did much better with your quick snapshots than I ever manage.
Thanks so much Kris. If I’d had more time I would have tried to hid the zinnia leaves!
Lovely photos! I haven’t seen many sulphurs in my garden this fall and that’s a bit odd. Nice continuing series…
Thank you Tina!
Gorgeous Monarch images! The Sulphur season is in full swing here, seeing many pairs playing in the garden.
Thanks. That’s marvelous seeing so many sulphurs.
Wonderful monarch captures… they really love zinnias here in my garden as well. I was stunned to see a mating pair yesterday. It is really late for them to be here at all, let alone mating! It never even hit 60 today, so I hope they are okay and making their way south to warmer temps.
Thanks. I too hope the pair get to warmer place.
There aren’t as many butterflies here now like there were a few weeks ago. The ironweed had rebloomed after the hay was cut and the butterflies were really busy. I had never seen so many Monarch’s before.
I guess the butterflies know to move on. How exciting to have so many. Must look into ironweed–saw it listed around here as a big attractant.
Well, it also depends on the ironweed. For the most part, Vernonia baldwinii (for example) don’t flower as late which is what I have throughout the summer for the most part. BUT, after the hay was cut, huge colonies of ironweed started growing like mad and flowered again. They turned out to be Vernonia missurica which I only had a few of before. It’s late flowering pretty much saved the butterflies. There are still a few in bloom. This never happened before and was quite interesting.
Thanks for the clarification. I looked it up and am not sure ironweed is a good choice for my small garden (although I do like to feed the butterflies). I’ll have to seek it out in local public gardens to see where and how they are using it. Interesting V. missurica made such a strong and helpful display this year for you.