Friday, August 26, 2011

What I Told a Neighbor Boy about the Butterflies

A number of butterflies have been enjoying the August blooms.  I see them every day, and it gives me much joy.  The photos in this post were taken over the last few days.

Monday, we had our kids and grands over for supper.  I picked the boys up from daycare, and KJ decided to head to the front door instead of going in the back like we usually do.  On the way, we saw a boy I don't know on a bike looking at the yard.  I asked him if he was watching the butterflies.  He told me he was catching them.  Here's something like what came very firmly out of my mouth:  "No, you are not to catch butterflies in this yard.  It is a Monarch Waystation, and catching butterflies is not allowed."  LOL  That was brilliant!  Instead of saying I didn't want him to, I made it sound like it was against the law.  You can use that idea if you want.

The monarchs enjoy a variety of blooms in the garden.  I didn't remember them liking dahlias.  I wasn't planning on planting them next year because they take so long to come up, and not all of them even came up.  Also this one's blooms don't look like the ones on the other plant from the same package.  I may have to change my mind, though, and just plant one kind.

Zinnias seem to be one of the favorites.

I planted the Mexican sunflowers for the monarchs, but other butterflies are enjoying them, too.  I can't tell what kind of swallowtail this is from the photo.  It may be the one folks identified for me as a Palamedes Swallowtail.

I have been deadheading the Mexican sunflower, but if I get behind, the monarchs don't seem to mind.

Here's a silver spotted skipper on a volunteer annual salvia that I got started from scattering seedheads from some other volunteer salvias.

I've counted 4 monarchs almost every day for the last few weeks.  I don't remember if there has been a day when I saw more.

I'm not seeing as many painted ladies as usual this year.

This is the same butterfly as above.

I like the green background in this photo, so I included it, even though I've already shown a monarch on a zinnia.

I need to find my butterfly book.  I think this is an Eastern Swallowtail, but it could be a black swallowtail.

There have also been lots of bees in the yard.  They let me get very close to take photos, and I have never felt threatened by one.

There was a day when I was in the vegetable garden looking for butterflies, and I felt like I was being watched.  Well, I was, by this squirrel, who kept looking after I found it.  I think it was bored.

I've been watching the coverage of Hurricane Irene this evening.  Larry and I rarely travel, but for years, I had been wanting to see an ocean.  In June, of 2007, we drove to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We were in awe of the ocean.  We had a wonderful time, and explored quite a lot of areas there, and Atlantic Beach, including where some of the coverage is.  I hope those of you affected by the storm are in safe places, and are doing OK.  I've been praying for you. 


  1. Sue, I don't have nearly the flowers that you do but I have been seeing a lot of Monarch butterflies flitting around in my yard. In years past I would see an occasional one here and there but this year it's seems there are a lot more of them. I like watching them fly in their drunken flight patterns while sitting on my front yard patio. It sure has been a good year to sit and watch nature. I don't remember any year that I've seen such a different variety of birds. I really don't have anything that would attract them but still they seem to like to hang out in my yard. At least for a time before flying off to other parts of the neighborhood.

    I can definitely see why you got yard of the month. I don't know how you can keep track of all your different flowers and know their names. I have a basic few that I know will do me good and just stick with those. Because I'm just bad at remembering to water them, I have set up automatic drip watering systems for the flowers that grow in my yard. How do you keep your flowers watered?

    Have a great butterfly day in the yard.

  2. Love your butterflies! And Dave is right-it's nice to watch them in flight-I never thought of it, they do indeed look drunk when they fly!

  3. That was a very good reply to the little neighbor boy.

    I never have many Monarch's and I don't know why. I need to do some research.

    The flowers are still looking very good.

  4. We have had a lot of butterflies and bees this August, happy to report. We also have been following the hurricane, luckily we in North FL or not going to be affected. Knowing about hurricanes though, our hearts and prayers are that the citizens will take heed to the evacuation notices.

  5. I have never seen a squirrel in that pose, and studying a human's business. Your butterflies on flowers are captivating!

  6. Heehee, I love how you sorted that young boy. Gorgeous photos. I especially like the squirrel.

  7. Lovely photos as always, Sue and I envy you your butterflies.

  8. I haven't seen any Monarchs here this year. I've got milkweed ready for them if they do show up, but not much else is blooming now. It's all fried in our heat. Your blooms and butterflies look wonderful, I'm so envious!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Irene gave us a much needed soaking and a lot of wind, but no trees are down. My garden is also a Monarch Waystation and I've had them in my helianthus and milkweed. I've already seen a few but more usually come a bit later in the summer. Beautiful photos!

  10. I loved reading this post, and seeing all your great photos of butterflies. That was very quick thinking, what you said to that neighbor boy. Good for you! I've had lots of hummers here this year, but very few butterflies. I think I have plenty of flowers that they like, I have several enormous Mexican sunflowers in pots on my front porch, but I almost never see butterflies on them. I've been meaning to ask you to recommend a couple of types of milkweed, hopefully ones that aren't too aggressive at spreading. I had the regular swamp milkweed in my old garden, and it popped up everywhere!

  11. We too have had a lot of Monarchs. What in the world was that little boy thinking!? I guess you told him! We were entertained by the hummingbirds today - they seemed especially thick. The bees haven't been too bad, but if I remember right, they will be when my Sedum Autumn Joy opens up. I love your photos of the Zinnias and butterflies.

  12. Wow your garden is a smorgasboard for those flying flowers right now Sue! I saw a few myself yesterday, wonder where they went during the Hurricane?

  13. Lol!...I love the excuse you gave the boy about catching those butterflies I can just imagine the look on his face. It was a nice tactic, I think it's better then yelling out "No you can't do that, stop it! Lol!

    P.S..I noticed too that there were few Painted Ladies seen this year. I didn't see any this year. Last year they were all over my shrubs.

    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Hi Sue, Way to go!! Your yard has certainly evolved beautifully over the past few years!! And I love that you received the Yard of the Month Award! Great photos of your butterflies, etc. It's been so dry here (8 1/2 weeks - no rain) that I'm not seeing very many butterflies... sad. It Will rain one of these days! :-)

  15. All of your painted ladies are in southern Ks. .I don't ever recall seeing them before (maybe I wasn't looking) but I have seen a ton this summer. Also lots of monarchs in the yard. so fun to watch 4-5 flitting about in the same area. My 3 year old LOVES it!! I also haven't seen the number of bumblebees this summer. My caryopteris is usually covered with them!! Loved your photos!


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