Butterfly Journal For 10/15/2021 – 10/21/2021

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

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.

Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola)

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.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) -female

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) -female

Occasional sightings are possible into next month but butterfly season here is coming to a close.

19 thoughts on “Butterfly Journal For 10/15/2021 – 10/21/2021

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      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.

  1. Pauline

    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.

      1. Pauline

        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.

  2. Eliza Waters

    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.

  3. The Belmont Rooster

    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.

      1. The Belmont Rooster

        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.

      2. pbmgarden Post author

        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.

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