Friday, August 12, 2011

Return of the Butterflies!!

i was going to use this as my Wordless Wednesday post, but never got around to actually posting it. Another busy week, and my blog is feeling a bit neglected so i may be posting a few back to back the next couple days.

We are usually visited by a variety of butterflies all summer. In fact we often get so many that we joke about having a butterfly infestation. i can usually walk outside on any given day and count at least 10-20 butterflies. We raise and collect monarch caterpillars every year and this past spring we even planted extra carrots, dill, fennel and parsley to attract the black swallowtails. Yet we've only found one caterpillar and there has been very few butterflies this summer compared to the last few years.

...and then they began to come. In just the past few days, the swallowtails have been appearing and feeding on our butterfly bushes. They seem a few weeks late from last year.

Eastern Tiger swallowtail on tall phlox.

A battered looking Spicebush swallowtail, i believe. i still have a tough time telling the black ones apart.

A common buckeye and a Great Spangled Fritillary.

More Spicebush, i believe.

A female Eastern Tiger swallowtail. The males are always yellow, but females have a yellow and a black form.

We are so glad to see the butterflies returning! Our black swallowtail caterpillar should be emerging soon and we are getting ready to go look for monarch eggs. i love this time of year, when the butterflies are everywhere.

If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.
Author Unknown


  1. what spectacular butterflies, I love their names too. I think there is a real joy in learning the names of things - I'm better with plants and animals than I am with people though.

  2. I planted a bronze fennel I found at a plant sale last year just for the butterflies. A few weeks ago there were probably 20 larvea on it, but only one stuck around! I'm collecting what seeds I have left from it so hopefully next year I'll have lots more!!