Tag Archives: butterfly

Butterfly Journal For June 5-11, 2021

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

This week the most prevalent butterfly in my garden was the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) of which I counted 5 on 4 different days throughout the week (06/06/2021 – 06/11/2021).

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Aside from the easily recognizable Silver-spotted Skipper, identifying most of the skippers is a challenge. iNaturalist suggests possibilities and I am tentatively calling this Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho), hoping for a confirmation. I saw a similar one the next day, but couldn’t get close enough for a photo. There usually are many skippers but I’ve never recorded this kind before, so am skeptical.

Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho) ???

On June 8 and 11 I encountered the first Duskywings of the year. iNaturalist has not been much help so far in identifying these either. I tentatively listed one as Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) and the second as Horace’s Duskywing -(E. horatius), but my photographs are not very clear. I thinks it’s possible they could be the same individual.

Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) ???  June 8, 2021

Horace’s Duskywing (Erynnis horatius)  ???  June 11, 2021

On each of 3 days I encountered a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia). This little butterfly flits all over the garden and has been difficult to photograph. In the shortest amount of time it lands briefly on clover or grass, mulch, iris and penstemon leaves, not caring it could have a lovely portrait made if it would just be still! One finally slowed down a fraction to nectar on the butterfly bush.

Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia

Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia

While fretting around the butterfly bush trying to photograph the buckeye I enjoyed the happenstance of a cool moth sighting. I managed a few images of  a Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) (June 11, 2021).  Gotta love those wings!

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe)

My favorite butterfly visitor this week was on 6/9/2021, another Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor), the third in the garden this year. Its colors were so rich as if it were freshly inked!

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

There were flowers happening throughout the garden too which I will share another time.  Off to attend the Plant Symposium.  Enjoy your weekend!

 

Swallowtail Sighting

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Since 2018 I have seen a single Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) each year. Today was the day for 2021. I hope it won’t be the only one but at any rate it was thrilling to see this exotic looking butterfly this afternoon. It was sunny and 88 degrees F.

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

For the record I also saw two Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) earlier this morning and another (or one of the same) this afternoon. Verbena bonariensis was the attraction for both species.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

 

Foxglove Surprise

Gardens often hold secrets. I purchased a small foxglove plant May, 2013. Although it did not bloom as promised that year, the following year it had two beautiful spikes.

May 8, 2012. Newly planted Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’

Following year. May 17, 2014. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’ (Pam’s Choice Foxglove)

Fast forward seven years. This month I have been guarding a foxglove that appeared unexpectedly, scratching my head as to where it came from. It began opening 3 days ago.

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice

When I could finally look inside I was able to match it to that long-forgotten one, Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’, back for a visit long overdue.

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice

Water drops always make flowers even more intriguing. Sadly these are from my hand watering the garden yesterday. No rain to speak of for two months.)

May 23, 2021. Digitalis purpurea ‘Pam’s Choice’

 

In And Out And All About

Temperatures are forecast to climb toward 90s F. this weekend. Rain? None still.

Peonies are fading away. They have been exceptional this year and I have stored away a few in the refrigerator to bring out for fun later.  It’s been glorious to have vases of them arranged through the house for the past several weeks. A side shoot from a stem of Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ surprised me by opening into a tender pale pink version this week, and tiny—just two inches in diameter. It is so delicate compared to the usual expression, which I will show first for comparison.

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ (5-7 inches across)

Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ (2 inches across and pale pink)

I have a couple of Phalaenopsis (grocery store impulses) that re-bloom reliably despite neglect. This one has been blooming for several months.

Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)

A Christmas gift from our lovely niece keeps on giving. This view is ten days ago looking from the back porch into the garden. The unopened bud seen here is now the only one remaining.

Hippeastrum (Amaryllis) May 22, 2021

The oakleaf hydrangea suffered quite a lot of damage from late cold snaps, but portions have recovered.

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

While planting zinnia seeds on Wednesday I heard the unmistakable flutter of a hummingbird and looked up just in time to see it pause mid-air, then disappear. There have been a few early butterfly sightings starting April 4 but getting good photographs has been challenging. Finally yesterday a cooperative Silver-spotted Skipper let me get close as it sipped on Verbena bonariensis.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

An American Lady preferred our weedy front lawn but was too skittish to allow me near.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

I’ve spotted Cabbage Whites (maybe the same one and very camera-shy) for several days. I can’t quite be sure from this picture but I think it is exploring the non-native weed in the foreground called Potentilla indica (Mock Strawberry).  The plant spreads along creeping stolens and is a constant problem.

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Potentilla indica forms a small, bright red berry, non-poisonous but apparently not delicious.

Potentilla indica (Mock Strawberry)

Another problem in  my garden is a plant I actually love, but I have developed a skin rash to spiderwort. I have tried for years to get rid of it without success.  Within a couple minutes of touching spiderwort my skin turns red, swells, and itches. It does attract pollinators and it is photogenic. I once painted a white front porch column with it when I was a small child (and subsequently had to scrub the column).

Spiderwort

Another spreader, but one I don’t mind, is Lamb’ Ears. It was a passalong that I’ve had for many years. It wanders until I rein it back.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear)

The first echinacea opened a week ago, rising up through a clump of spiderwort. There are many more that return each year around the garden.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Mostly the many Husker Red penstemons are calm and stately, but I snapped this boisterous shot of one towering above dianthus. The dianthus are colorful but I must come to their defense. I’m not sure why they appear so bubblegum pink.

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) and Dianthus

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!