Monday, September 25, 2017
We have been having warm sunny days and walking around outside in the garden has been truly splendid! For someone who has purposely loaded the garden with nectar plants preferred by butterflies and their caterpillars these are the best of times. Most of the time butterflies take off when you walk by or even if your shadow passes over them. Just one click of the camera usually sends them off. Sometimes they speed past directly in front of you. The beautiful creature you see here is a Painted Lady butterfly, Cynthia Vanessa. I have seen painted ladies here before, but never so many as this year. Several years ago it was Red Admirals that were so plentiful. Their caterpillars practically ate all the stinging nettles to the ground!
This Painted lady is enjoying the October Skies asters in front of the house. All of the asters are having a magnificent year and these purple beauties are one of my favorites!
Many of the blooms on my butterfly bush have gone past, but the ones that are still blooming are fragrant and welcoming. There are four Painted Ladies in this photo. Each one sits on a plume of pink flowers except for the one that is flying and I think just about to land.
This amazing clump of Malva sylvestris is in the same bed as the butterfly bush. I am lot more accepting of the holes in their leaves now that I know mallows are a favorite food of painted lady caterpillars. We still see some Monarchs, Sulfurs and others, but this year the Painted Ladies have made for a splendid September!