Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 6 observations, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 597 (30 species)*.
[*The overall 2021 annual butterfly total to 598 (31 species).]
Butterfly Sightings 11/05/2021 – 11/12/2021
11/9/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
11/12/2021 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae 1
11/12/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
11/12/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
From a window on Tuesday I spotted a Cloudless Sulphur floating above the garden for a minute or two, but it quickly moved on without making a stop. There are still a few floral enticements it might have tasted: saliva, lantana, a few zinnias and cosmos. Or how about some fresh button chrysanthemums? Yesterday a Fiery Skipper found a sunny spot to pause among the flowers of this passalong plant.
After a busy week it was a relief to spend some time in the garden yesterday afternoon. The day was sunny and mild. I planted narcissus, hyacinths, muscari and allium yesterday—still a few more bulbs to place.
A butterfly drew me outside. I had spotted it earlier but it didn’t stay. When it returned (presumably it was the same one) it paused among a large planting of shasta daisies before moving through the garden. I couldn’t get very close to it but I don’t think I have ever been so pleased to see a Cabbage White! This was the tenth one of 2021 and the first one here since mid-July.
While trying to photograph the Cabbage White I noticed skippers in front of me. I shifted the camera toward them just as the Cabbage White took off and felt their touch. I’ve never had a butterfly land on my hand before, much less two. It was a sweet moment but the timing was decidedly awkward.
I helped them settle back onto lantana.
Autumn color exploded this week and throughout the neighborhood and along our routes around town the views have been spectacular. The last time I wrote a butterfly journal entry there was a prediction for our first freeze that never materialized. Tomorrow (Sunday) a hard freeze (30°F.) is expected.