I recorded 23 butterflies this week. As of yesterday I have noted 272 casual observances this year spread among 26 species. No lifers to report this week but I did see one species for the first time this year, Red Admiral, back after a 7-year absence.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are more frequent visitors recently, including this female. Females have this blush of bright blue near the base of the tail.
I love seeing the swallowtails. This one stayed only for a moment before sailing out of the garden.
Monday, August 8, 2022
Here are three views of the same Zabulon Skipper. This is the second one seen this year.
Dark morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are always female.
Homesteading above an Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ this spider designed an interesting web.
Last year I saw three species of Hairstreak. So far I have spotted only the Gray. They are small butterflies.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Ocolas are common visitors.
I have not tried to ID all the little grass skippers this year, but this one looked pretty nectaring on thyme in the meditation circle.
I chased a few more around and caught up with some settling onto the zinnias, their open wings revealing more detail.
There are usually one or two Silver-spotted Skippers around the garden on any given day.
Three is the most ET Swallowtails I have seen at any one time this summer. A few years back there would easily be six to ten. Their presence is no longer taken for granted.
There has been a significant decrease in the number of small bees and other insects in the past several weeks, but these large Eastern Carpenter Bees are still finding sustenance.
They are partial it seems to salvia and don’t mind taking a deep dive.
Thursday, August 11, 2022
On Thursday I saw the first Red Admiral in the garden since 2015. I’m told they are not usually seen on flowers, instead they are found on the ground on dirt or mud, rotting fruit, scat, etc., so this is a good “find” in a yard/garden.
The much larger swallowtail is what had initially caught my eye before I had my attention diverted by the Admiral. A Black Swallowtail, it darted off quickly so I couldn’t get a closer view, but it seems quite fresh and in good condition.
Dragonflies dart around constantly but often let me get close enough to photograph. This Great Blue Skimmer posed for several shots but most ended up out of focus. One of the larger skimmers, it is 2-2.5 inches (50-63 mm). Immature ones are brownish, blue ones are mature.
Like so many gardeners this year we’re watching anxiously for rain. Temperatures are expected to cool so that will bring relief. Hope your gardens are active and vibrant and bringing you joy this summer.
Just all so beautiful!!! Thank u for all the terrific information, too!!!
Sent from my iPhone
So happy you enjoyed seeing my garden visitors. Thanks Daphne.
Wonderful captures of your pollinators–they’re obviously very happy in your garden!
Thanks Tina! They make me smile. Wonder if pollinators settle for fast-food at a garden and wish they’d found a gourmet meal instead.
I admire you for keeping up with your butterflies. I bought an identification book years ago and have yet to start keeping a record.
Nothing wrong with you just enjoying the butterflies in the moment. I like having something to photograph so keeping up with the butterflies became a photography challenge last year. My ID book is rarely opened either.
You get a much greater variety of butterflies than I’m seeing, Susie. Our winged visitors remain disturbingly few and far between – I noticed that even during my visit to the local botanic garden last week (discounting the butterfly enclosure of course). I’ve yet to spy a single dragonfly this year. The spiderweb was a wonderful capture.
Sorry to hear how your butterfly numbers have fallen. And dragonflies–do you usually see very many? I have seen quite a few of them but not many different kinds. As we get toward fall there will probably be lots of spiderwebs to watch out for!
Love seeing all your garden visitors!! Thanks
Jane, thanks for being a faithful reader. Always nice to hear from you.
Wonderful captures, Susie. I see a variety of skippers in my flowers, but I find them impossible to ID, so many that look similar!
Thank you Eliza. I agree, the skippers are so difficult. Last summer I agonized over skipper IDs but this year I’m mostly letting them go.
I admire your diligence and attention to detail in recording your beautiful garden visitors. I also admire your photography skills because these are amazing shots.
Thank you. I like to practice photography but don’t have patience for any setting other than Auto. Using my phone camera limits me to mostly close-ups but those work well for the garden. Fortunately these days the number of shots isn’t limited to what fits on a roll of film so I can keep trying.
Pretty pictures, I am also seeing fewer Swallowtails, I wonder if the dry weather keeps the numbers down?
Yes. It would help to get rain. Florida usually gets rain every day—at least when I’ve visited. Are you dry also?
Yes we’re down 8 inches from normal.
Everything looks amazing. How do you keep the rabbits out? They don’t eat salvias and lantana but they eat every thing else in my yard. Thanks for sharing
Thanks Rebecca! Added rabbit fencing to bottom of fence but they’ve continued to be get in. Ate phlox and lilies and recently gladiolas!
Wow, such beautiful butterflies! We’re hoping for thunderstorms and rain here in Wales tomorrow.
Thanks you. Hope your rain comes and refreshes your garden.
You have some fantastic photos of them all Susie. You could make gift cards with them! Such a wonderful array of butterflies. I love seeing the swallowtails sailing past too. They are so graceful. Have only spotted a couple this year though. Hope you get rain Susie.
Thanks Cathy! I’ve started so many card projects that never get finished but I do want to try again. Hope you get some rain too. None here today.
Such special garden visitors you have, Susie! Great photos, too – particularly the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on the pale pink zinnia. Lovely!
Thank you. The butterflies add so much to the garden.