Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 2 observations, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 599 (30 species)*.
[*Including a Painted Lady seen in town the overall 2021 annual butterfly total is an even 600 (31 species).]
Butterfly Sightings 11/13/2021 – 11/18/2021
11/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
11/13/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
Last Sunday, November 13, was our first morning waking up to temperatures below freezing. It was also the only day of butterfly activity detected in my garden this week. A glorious late-morning sighting of a fresh, male monarch sent me outdoors to document this late arrival.
The butterfly flew in and among the beds tasting a number of plants along the way, including dianthus.
For a time it settled in the meditation circle attracted to verbena bonariensis and eventually to cleome. Determinedly fighting a gusty wind the butterfly resembled someone in a storm wrestling an unwieldy umbrella.
Throughout the week the thermometer readings dipped a few times again below 32F, but ironically we had beautiful and warm days with highs reaching to mid-70s. Seeing the monarch Sunday lifted my expectations that a few more stragglers might wander through, but searching most days among the remaining flowers yielded no further butterfly treasure.
One afternoon I saw a good number of yellow jackets reigning over the camellias, while two sluggish carpenter bees had the chrysanthemums to themselves. Lady bugs flew by (some are creeping into the house) and, so it goes.
After spending months looking so closely inward toward the garden, in the early hours of this morning my attention focused skyward to observe the full Beaver Moon of November 2021 in the longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years. Around 4 a.m. EDT, near the peak of the eclipse, I joined my fellow curious humans to observe the moon 97% covered by the Earth’s shadow. Bathed in a reddish glow our planet’s natural satellite was resplendent as it cast light over this little garden.
Hope awe and wonder filtered through your life this week.