Fall Butterflies: 2013 (Tilt your screen back a bit for improved viewing).

Yes, here it is February 6th, 2014. Fall butterflies are long gone. I last saw butters in the garden around December 5th or when ever that first norther arrived. My last day to photograph any in the yard was December 4th, 2013.

I’ve had lots of spare time interspersed with busy time but I had not much energy or desire to put forth the effort to work on this blog. It seems I follow the old adage. “Hour late and a dollar short.” Stress the late and short part. :-)

To view these photos tilt your screen back a bit and the saturation/exposure/viewing will improve.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Wingspan 4.5-4.5") Nectaring in Skyflower Host plant: Pipevines. This was my first sighting of this species.  Remarkable display with the constant beating of its wings as it moved all around the Skyfower. I had to put lots of effort in order to get some pics. It was quite hot the day that I happened to go out and check the flowers for any butterflies. The light was very bright with the sun still high in the sky, I could not get the exposures that I would have preferred. It's like photographing birds. You take what you can for the opportunity will probably not be present again.

Pipevine Swallowtail
(Wingspan 4.5-4.5″) Nectaring on Skyflower
Host plant: Pipevines. This was my first sighting of this species. Remarkable display with the constant beating of its wings as it moved all around the Skyfower. I had to put lots of effort in order to get some pics. It was quite hot the day that I happened to go out and check the flowers for any butterflies. The light was very bright and with the sun still high in the sky, I could not get the exposures that I would have preferred. It’s like photographing birds. You take what you can for the opportunity will probably not be present again.

Gulf Fritillary nectaring on Skyflower (Duranta).I love the backgrpound color of this photo. I don't use Photoshop and I have no idea how this color was achieved. I just know that it was a pleasant surprise. Photographed November, 2013.

Gulf Fritillary nectaring on Skyflower (Duranta).I love the backgrpound color of this photo. I don’t use Photoshop and I have no idea how this color was achieved. I just know that it was a pleasant surprise. Photographed November, 2013.

Gulf Fritillary on skyflower.Host plant is native Passionvine. EXOTIC PASSIONVINE WILL KILL THE CATERPILLARS. More about that in some other post. One or two exotics are safe but you must do the research before planting to ensure you have the safe species of passionvine.       Photo. Oct. 2013

Gulf Fritillary on skyflower.Host plant is native Passionvine. EXOTIC PASSIONVINE WILL KILL THE CATERPILLARS. More about that in some other post. One or two exotics are safe but you must do the research before planting to ensure you have the safe species of passionvine. Photo. Oct. 2013

Pipevine Swallowtail nectaring on Skyflower (duranta). Photographed Sept. 24, 2013

Pipevine Swallowtail nectaring on Skyflower (duranta). Photographed Sept. 24, 2013

Hackberry Emperor nectaring on rotting banana that I had placed on a large rock. Some butterflies nectar on rotting fruit and dearly love fruit that has been spiked with wine or even beer. I've not tried the "spirits" to entice the butters yet but I'm planning to buy some cheap wine this spring to lace up some bananas for the butters to enjoy.

Hackberry Emperor nectaring on rotting banana that I had placed on a large rock. Some butterflies nectar on rotting fruit and dearly love fruit that has been spiked with wine or even beer. I’ve not tried the “spirits” to entice the butters yet but I’m planning to buy some cheap wine this spring to lace up some bananas for the butters to enjoy.

Little

Little Yellow nectaring on Skyflower. It is difficult to catch a sulfur with unfolded wings. I’ve looked in Google at the butterflies so many times I feel as though I’m now “Googled eyed.” :-)

Gulf fritillary nectaring on Lantana

Gulf fritillary nectaring on Lantana

Northern Cloudywing? Posssibly Horace's Duskywing? One of the two. :-) I'm sorry but these little ones are extremely difficult to ID without good field marks. nectaring on Maximillian sunflower. Sept. 2013

Northern Cloudywing or Horace’s Duskywing nectaring on Maximillian sunflower. Sept. 2013

Pipevine Swallowtail nectaring on Skyflower (duranta). Photographed Sept. 24, 2013

Pipevine Swallowtail nectaring on Skyflower (duranta). Photographed Sept. 24, 2013

Monarch nectaring on Mexican butterfly weed. Photographed early Nov. 2013

Monarch nectaring on Mexican butterfly weed. Photographed early Nov. 2013

Three Queens  nectaring on Mexican Butterfly Weed

Three Queens nectaring on Mexican Butterfly Weed

Common Mestra (wingspan 1.5- 1.7") nectaring on African Blue Sage

Common Mestra (wingspan 1.5- 1.7″) nectaring on African Blue Sage

Painted Lady- wingspan: 2-2.5"  Nectaring on African Blue Sage. Note the tattered wings. This lady had seen some rough times. :-)

Painted Lady- wingspan: 2-2.5″ Nectaring on African Blue Sage. Note the tattered wings. This lady had seen some rough times. :-)

Common Mestra. Wingspan: 1.5"-1.7."   My first glimpse of this dainty little flitter. I like the odd pattern of the underwing.

Common Mestra. Wingspan: 1.5″-1.7.” My first glimpse of this dainty little flitter. I like the odd pattern of the underwing.

Gulf Fritillary- winspan: 2.5"-3". Nectaring on African Blue Sage

Gulf Fritillary- winspan: 2.5″-3″. Nectaring on African Blue Sage

American Snout showing underwing pattern. Wingspan: 1.6-1.8" This butter was nectaring on African Blue Basil.

American Snout showing underwing pattern. Wingspan: 1.6-1.8″
This butter was nectaring on African Blue Basil.

White Checkered-skipper: (Wingspan- .8-1.2")  on Scabiosa. Look for the very slender dark colored proboscis  in the middle of the bloom. A very pretty dainty skipper. Host plants- Mallow, Sidas.  Photographed 12/3/2013

White Checkered-skipper: (Wingspan- .8-1.2″) on Scabiosa. Look for the very slender dark colored proboscis in the middle of the bloom. A very pretty dainty skipper. Host plants- Mallow, Sidas. Photographed 12/3/2013

Variegated Fritillary. Wingspan- 1.8-2.5". Nectaring on Copper Camyon Daisy. Note part of the upper right wing is missing. Host plants- Flax, Passionvine

Variegated Fritillary. Wingspan- 1.8-2.5″. Nectaring on Copper Camyon Daisy. Note part of the upper right wing is missing. Host plants- Flax, Passionvine

Sachem Skipper?  Not positive of ID. Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy November, 2013

Sachem Skipper? Not positive of ID. Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy November, 2013

Orange Sulphur? Wingspan: 1.5-2.5"   Not sure of ID but I think this is correct - looks like the photos in the ID guides. :-) Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy.  Host plants- Clover, Vetch, Bluebonnets. Photo : 12/3/2013

Orange Sulphur? Wingspan: 1.5-2.5″ Not sure of ID but I think this is correct – looks like the photos in the ID guides. Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy. Host plants- Clover, Vetch, Bluebonnets. Photo : 12/3/2013

Southern Dogface on native Aster. Dec. 3.2013 When the wings are "unfolded" an illusion of a dog's face in profile can be seen- with a bit of imagination. :-) The wings are folded here so don't try using your imagination.  :-)  Host plants: Clover,Dalea, False Indigo

Southern Dogface on native Aster. Dec. 3.2013
When the wings are “unfolded” an illusion of a dog’s face in profile can be seen- with a bit of imagination. :-)
The wings are folded here so don’t try using your imagination. :-) Host plants: Clover,Dalea, False Indigo

White Checkered-Skipper on Scabiosa  Wingspan:   .8-1.2" Photographed 12/3/2013

White Checkered-Skipper on Scabiosa Wingspan: .8-1.2″
Photographed 12/3/2013

Skipper, ID unknown. Possibly a Schem skipper?  Nectaring on African Blue Sage  Nov. 18,2013  Host plant is Bermuda grass and other grasses. That is easy. Lots of Bermuda grass. I have Bermuda in my yard where its allowed to grow tall in one area. :-)

Skipper, ID unknown. Possibly a Schem skipper? Nectaring on African Blue Sage Nov. 18,2013 Host plant is Bermuda grass and other grasses. That is easy. Lots of Bermuda grass. I even have that in my yard where its allowed to grow tall in one area. :-)

Monarch female in a last ditch effort to lay an egg . Note the abdomen stretched away from her body as she attempts to deposit an egg on the underside of a milweed pod. It was windy that day and a huge gust of wind blew her off the pod or maybe she just let go. She fell toward the Copper Canyon Daisy and when I turned around to see where she had landed I could not find her. She has part of the left upper wing missing. The injured wing is apparent if you look closely. It made me sad to think that she had probably flown many miles when she happened upon my butterfly garden. I wish I knew if that was her last hurrah. I think it was. Host plants: any plant in the Milkweed family. It used some of the 5 plants of my Mexican Milkweed this fall. Any naitve Milkweed will do plus this Mexican one. Some scientists believe the Monarch evolved and moved north as it used the Milkweed in Mexico as a nectar and host plant. Native Milkweed here in the states is being grown for its seeds. It is a finicky plant and does not readily germinate.  The nursery trade sells Mexican Milkweed and it transplants and grows easily.

Monarch female in a last ditch effort to lay an egg . Note the abdomen stretched away from her body as she attempts to deposit an egg on the underside of a milkweed pod. It was windy that day and a huge gust of wind blew her off the pod or maybe she just let go. She fell toward the Copper Canyon Daisy and when I turned around to see where she had landed I could not find her. She has part of the left upper wing missing. The injured wing is apparent if you look closely. It made me sad to think that she had probably flown many miles when she happened upon my butterfly garden. I wish I knew if that was her last hurrah. I think it was. Host plants for the Monarch: any plant in the Milkweed family. The Monarch used some of my 5 plants of the Mexican Milkweed this fall. Any naitve Milkweed will do plus this Mexican one. Some scientists believe the Monarch evolved and moved north as it used the Milkweed in Mexico as a nectar and host plant. Native Milkweed here in the states is being grown for its seeds. It is a finicky plant and does not readily germinate. The nursery trade sells Mexican Milkweed and it transplants and grows easily.

Queen , male Wingspan: 3-3.5"  Nectaring on Mexican Milkweed. Host plants- Milkweeds   Photo: 11/17/2013

Queen , male Wingspan: 3-3.5″ Nectaring on Mexican Milkweed. Host plants- Milkweeds Photo: 11/17/2013

Orange Sulphur? Wingspan: 1.5-2.5"   Not sure of ID but  I think this is correct - looks like the photos in the ID guides.  Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy.  Host plants- Clover, Vetch, Bluebonnets. Photo : 12/3/2013

Orange Sulphur? Wingspan: 1.5-2.5″ Not sure of ID but I think this is correct – looks like the photos in the ID guides. Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy. Host plants- Clover, Vetch, Bluebonnets. Photo : 12/3/2013

Pained Lady    Wingspan- 2-2.5"  Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy   11/22/2013 This butter hosts on  plants in the Mallow, Legumes, and  Thistles families.

Pained Lady Wingspan- 2-2.5″ Nectaring on Copper Canyon Daisy 11/22/2013 This butter hosts on plants in the Mallow, Legumes, and Thistles families.

Red Admiral- wingspan 1.8-2.5."  Nectaring in this pic on African Blue sage 11/18/2013.  Yes, I know. Where is the red on this butter? Well in this case it happens to have an orange coloration. Host plants include Nettle, False Nettle, and (pellotory? what in the world is a pellitory plant. I need to read about that one).

Red Admiral- wingspan 1.8-2.5.” Nectaring in this pic on African Blue sage 11/18/2013. Yes, I know. Where is the red on this butter? Well in this case it happens to have an orange coloration. Host plants include Nettle, False Nettle, and (pellotory? what in the world is a pellitory plant. I need to read about that one).

American Snout. Wingspan: 1.6-1.8"  Host plant- Hackberry tree

American Snout. Wingspan: 1.6-1.8″ Host plant- Hackberry tree

Monarch nectaring on Mexican Milkweed  11/17/2013

Monarch nectaring on Mexican Milkweed 11/17/2013

American Snout Wingspan: 11.6-1.8″ nectaring on Mexican Milkweed Photo 11/17/2013

Queen, male (wingspan 3-3.5")   This butter was on a dried seed head of Blue Mist which happens to be a favorite nectar plant of the Queen. There were only a few blooms left  and I have no idea if there is any nectar left in a dried seed head. But I've seen other Queens do this in the summer as well. Host plant: Milkweed. Photo 11/17/2013

Queen, male (wingspan 3-3.5″) This butter was on a dried seed head of Blue Mist which happens to be a favorite nectar plant of the Queen. There were only a few blooms left and I have no idea if there is any nectar left in a dried seed head. But I’ve seen other Queens do this in the summer as well. Host plant: Milkweed. Photo 11/17/2013

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76 thoughts on “Fall Butterflies: 2013 (Tilt your screen back a bit for improved viewing).

  1. Fantastic photos Yvonne, and such a wonderful collection of butterfly visitors. We only get a few in Ireland sadly, but in summer my butterfly bush certainly attracts them.

    • Hi Claire. I imagine your butterfly bush is one that you treasure since it attracts the butterflies. I know that I’m partial to the plants that butterflies like the best. It’s a shame that you don’t get many of the butters in Ireland. Maybe you can photograph some of them and make a post with those pics.

      • I will definitely Yvonne, as sadly this year the bush hasn’t flowered which is a shame, so no butters this year :-(

      • Maybe it’s too early for the bush to flower. I have virtually no butterflies this year. All total I’ve seen about 7-9 which has me very worried. The radical weather, I’m afraid, has affected the population.

  2. Fantastic pictures Yvonne! I love seeing the Pipevine Swallowtail. It is our most common big butterfly around our house. I’m already starting to see some in the yard! Spring is almost here. :)

    • My goodness you and Mary are so fortunate to have Pipevine butters around your home. I’m curious to know what they nectar on and what plants are in your yard or the woods that they use as a host plant.

      • The host plant is the Pipevine and their favorite flowers are “Blue Dicks”, in the Brodiea family.

      • Yes, I know about the Pipevine but I wondered if you you had planted the vine or if the woods/forests near you have the the vine growing naturally.

      • Both, they are around naturally, but I have transplanted some into the yard.

      • That is great that you have the plant in your yard. I’ve had a helper dig various native shrubs/trees/flowers and moved them to the yard years ago. Anything to help the native flora and fauna survive.

        There are no pipevines in local nurseries so I might have to break down and get some vai mail order which I don’t like to do. The quality of the plant is often questionable. I will keep on my quest to find some in a Texas nursery that I hope will not be more than 100 or so miles from where I live.

        The Pipevine butter that I saw, nectared on the bluish purple flowers of the Skyflower (duranta) which is not hardy below freezing. Mine is in a big planter and I put it in a little wagon and pulled it inside to put in my laundry room. I pull it out side on warm days and nights so it can get some sunlight.

      • Wow, Yvonne you are dedicated! The pipevines are super easy to transplant and often grow in clusters. If you could find some wild ones, you would have no problem moving a few.

      • well guess i’ll call the Baylor botany prof to see if he knows where there are any growing in some places. If I’m lucky maybe some might grow in McLennan county. I had no idea if they were easy to dig and transplant or not. I have good luck with everything that I plant. I think I’ll ask a nursery person that I buy plants from too, and see if she will grow some from seeds or get some from some place or the other. Thanks for the info. Much appreciated.

      • If you can’t find them, let me know and we’ll catch some seed from ours this Summer. I’m not sure how well they will perform in Texas, but our local climate is dry too. Otherwise, we could mail you a plant. You might get lucky, but if you didn’t, no big deal we have a lot of them.

      • Thank you, Tim for thinking of me re: the plants. I did find a source in Austin and “they” told me via phone the Dutchman’s pipevine would be available in late March or April. The nursery is called The Natural Gardener.There are two species of what is known as Dutchman’s pipevine. I found a list of 10 natives that are good to plant and it even gave the zones. It memtioned the one in California in the list. And I called my favorite nursery here in town and asked the owner if she would try to get some natives. She had never tried to sell any of this species before. She propagates Passion Vine which is a host plant for the Varigated and Gulf Fritillaries. I planted 3 of those but I’m pretty sure they did not survive since the roots were not mulched and not very well established. The vines for the Swalllows and Frits must be natives. Otherwise the cats will die. The exotics jsut do not have what it takes to support the “cats.” One thing is certain. Butterflies are selective about host plants and they need all the help they can get. So i’m just doing my little part to help out. :-)

        So hopefully I won’t need to ask you for any seeds but I appreciate your thoughtful gesture.

      • After my last message I was out behind the mill and guess what I found? I found a big patch of Pipevine in bloom. Nearby was a blooming wild fruit tree and on it were dozens of Pipevine Swallowtails. Yes, I took pictures and I will post. :D

      • Oh, you lucky man. I am so envious. A patch of blooming Pipevine. If only we had California weather. It is still wintery here. The temp dropped to around 18 degrees about 2 nights ago. It froze for 2 days and nights. Today I checked some of the natives that had put out young leaves and the Mexican plum that was about to open its blooms. Leaves and blossoms were dried and ruined from the late freeze. I sure hope there is something for the Monarchs when they fly in. I don’t have any native Milkweed just the tropical that froze back in December. I hope the native Milkweed out in the countryside did not suffer any damage.

        So I’ll be watching for the photos of the butters on your blog. I hope soon? :-)

  3. What a wonderful display of colorful and superb butterflies ! Each one of them. Beautiful flowers too. No wonder they love your garden. You are so patient and talented to get those pictures. I suppose I do not move slowly enough around them to get a chance to take such pictures. I read the the Monarchs are in great trouble, how sad :( I look forward to Spring finally coming and have those lovely visitors in the garden or in the pastures. Up here in the mountains, butterflies are much smaller but so bright in the orange, white, yellow and blue shades.
    Thank you for this lovely exhibition of butterflies, for the time it took you to put all these images together and also for adding colors to my present environment : white (snow), blue (sky) and grey/black (forests). Have a most pleasant weekend and take good care of you.

    • Isa you write the most heart warming complimentary comments and I am very apprecitive of your generous spitit. I imagine the butters that you see are truely beautiful and very different from those that I see here in Texas. The blue butters sound absolutely glorious. I wish there were more of the small blue ones here. I have photographed a couple of blue ones but there colors had begun to fade and in fact I had a hard time identifying them. The colors are made of scales and if the butter lives long enough the scales rub off.

      Yes, the Monarchs are pretty much in dire straits. I have no idea what the answer might be but the government needs to get involved before we lose the species.

  4. What beautiful photographs and lucky butterflies.

    • Thanks so much, Annie for visting and having a look. I appreciate the very nice compliment. :-) I must soon get busy and begin planting. Loss lots of things due to severe freezing weather of this winter. Still hoping to attract some species that I’ve not seen in the past.

  5. chatou11 says:

    Just came to see them once more, I love butterflies so much.
    I wonder if Muddy is alright§
    Nice day Yvonne

    • Yes he needed surgery. The tumor was a fibrolipoma- non malignant but it had grown and I wanted it off just in case it might become malignant at some point in years or even months to come. That cost 700 plus dollars. I am just about gagging on vet expenses of late. I hope my money holds out. I don’t want to have to put any of my favorites down. That would be just about the end of me if that should happen. I hope a higher power is watching over my pets and me.

  6. hayley says:

    I’m really behind on my blog reading (a couple of long weekends away will do that) so have only just now caught up with your stunning photos. I’m amazed they were all taken in your garden – what am amazing variety of visitors you get – and how well timed your photos were. During walks in recent weeks I tried a couple of times to photograph butters, and failed, concluding that a liberal dose of patience is needed for such endeavours.

    And I never thought I’d have something in common with butterflies – until I read that some have a penchant for forms of alcohol! :)

    • Thanks Wendy for the nice comment. I laughed about your words of the butterfly’s penchant for alcohol. Actually it is the fermentation that attracts them. When alholol is added to fruit such as strawberries or bananas the fruit begins to ferment. The potent odor apparently is what attracts them.

      But to photograph them a huge amount of patience is required with the ability to move subtly and quietly as you move with the butterfly. It is best to sometiimes stand very still and wait for one to perch on a flower. All your movements must be very slow. Also do not wear white. Blue clothing is best or if you must- wear a shirt that is red or orange and see how those colors work.

  7. Wendy Kate says:

    What great pictures! I did indeed tilt the screen back and they all came alive for me with wonderful clarity.

    • Wendy, thank you for visting and for the lovely comment. WP sent a notification to me that you had liked my comment on Lottie Niven’s (http://lottienevin.com/) blog today re: the pig slaughter. How does one go about finding a place on a blog to like a comment?

      I’m not vegan but I’d be if I did not have so many allergies and now problems with my heart. I was vegatarian for many, many years but was told by my MD that I needed more complete protein to help combat fatigue. I now eat broiled salmon and I feel some better. I don’t eat any kind of dairy and rarely eat an egg. If I were not allergic to so many foods I probably could be vegan but oh well, I can at least not eat beef, poultry, or pork. Meat from an animal or bird turns my stomach.

      Not eating meat is a moral and ethical issue for me.

      • Wendy Kate says:

        I am new to this blogging lark – I saw a like button and pushed it, maybe it depends what format blog you are using? There doesn’t seem to be like button on here…Anyway, it’s lovely to be getting in touch with so many people and sharing so many things x PS I am vegan for ethical reasons too and am luckily very healthy and happy on it.

      • Wendy thanks for the reply.I don’t have a like button because I removed it but if you are viewing from the “reader” the like button is still there. I just don’t “like” the like button for many people are lazy and use the like buttom instead of commenting. I was just surprised about how in the world there was a like button to “like” someones comment. I’ve never had that happen before and wonder if that was just a fluke.

  8. A great set of photos, what a privilege to see so many kinds of butterflies :) I love your garden.

    • Thank you, Calee. The garden is not really pretty. It just happens to have plants that attract the butterflies. I plan adding more areas further away from the house since that spot has limited space. Hoping to attract a few more species that are found in Central Texas.

  9. chatou11 says:

    Hi Yvonne, I enjoyed very much looking to all your butterflies! you are very lucky to have such varieties. I recognize a few we have overhere.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Chantal. Thank you for commenting. Yes I am indeed lucky to have the space for a small garden filled with a good variety of plants that attracted a variety of butters. I researched the plants that are attractive and planted jsut for the butters and the hummingbirds. I plan on adding more things by early March as I have plenty of space for all kinds of things. I want to to do mass planting of the Mexican milkweed and the passionvine. I am trying to find a source of native milkweed.

  10. What a fantastic collection of butterflies Yvonne. We don’t see that many here. Mostly the Red Admiral and the Common White. Maybe my garden is not butterfly friendly enough. Although we do get a lot of bees and hover-flys in the garden. I didn’t know about the banana so I might try that this year.

    Our winter so far has been quite mild, especially here on the coast. Lots of wind and rain, but no frost or snow, which is quite surprising. Apple trees are already starting to bud, which worries me if we have a cold snap, and yesterday I saw a Bumble Bee flying around the lavender in the garden. Strange times….

    • Thanks so much, Mike. I think I’m fortunate to live in a mostly mild climate. There are many more species in my area that I’ve never seen and I really began the butterfly garden last year although I had other plants for many years that were attractive to butters. the main thing s is that I added host plants which is even more imoortant than the nectar plants. However to help out the butters your planting should be for nectaring and hosting. I merely added more variety so that I couuld get more species and it did prove fairly successful for a first year planting. Coastal and deep south Texsas has many more species of butters that I will never get in my yard. My area is part of a spring and fall fly way for both birds and butterflies so that is probably the main reason that I have recorded approximately 30 species. The plants that attract them is the key plus watching the plants at various times of the day with camera in hand is a must to get the butters on record. Mainly I am glad that in a small way I helped the Monarch out a tad since there were 3 that hatched.

      Look on Internet to see what you need to plant for your area. The key to getting the butters = correct plantings.

    • Mike. I went to Google and typed in plants to attract butterflies in coastal Wales. I don’t know what area on the coast you are but all kinds of good info is available.If you can plant 2- 4 host plants and some nectar plants you should see an increase in butterflies. It might take a while to see the results but it pays huge dividends to help out the butterlfies. Many areas are deficient in nectar and host plants due to habitat destructiion. A few extra plantings is not that hard to achieve and maintain.

      You can also visit a nursery that should have some info about what is attractive to butterflies. Here is just one link. Many other links on the Internet also. http://www.newquay-westwales.co.uk/butterfly.htm

  11. Simply exquisite. I can feel your love of nature and Creation the way you approached the butterflies and took such careful shots. That second one is amazing, Yvonne. Btw, I did reply to your last comment that night. Still sick but my boy is on his way. We had never seen him like that. Thank you dearly. I was floored by such thoughtful support. Diana

    • Gee Diana you are so sweet and so thoughtful. Thank you for taking time from your very busy schedule to comment.

      The second photo is my favorite as well. I think that was a very lucky shot. I was watching a lot of butterflies when I saw the fritillary in the upside down feeding mode.

      I am sorry that your son is still not up to par. The two of you had a very serious illness going on. Please take care and get plenty of rest. I hope and pray that each of you will soon be completely recovered.

      Yes, I did see that you had replied to my comment/s. I did not answer again for fear that you would feel the need to respond. ~yvonne

  12. Kathy says:

    Thanks for sharing all these beautiful fall butterflies, Yvonne. I certainly didn’t mind remembering autumn and how warm it was. (Well, at least warmer than now.) Smiling that you’ll be buying your butterflies cheap wine.

    • Kathy I have just about forgotten how nice and warm it was in Dec. 3rd, the last day I was seeing butters for the year. It is cold here as of yesterday and today. 20 degrees is too cold for me but for you it is probably almost a balmy day. Yea, the wine just needs to be wine. So it might as well be cheap since I can’t drink the stuff without causing my heart to go hippy-itty-hop-trot- gallop- hippy-itty-hop. That’s the best description I can give of how it behaves when things are amiss. :-)

  13. Lovely photos. Impressive how much you know about butterflies.

  14. Vicky says:

    Beautiful shots, that conjure up thoughts of warm sunny days :-)

  15. sybil says:

    I am so grateful for people like you who create these wonderful places for butterflies. I’m really sad about the plight of the Monarchs …

    I never see such a variety of Butterflies up here in Nova Scotia.

  16. Littlesundog says:

    Lovely photographs, Yvonne! I’m so ready to see these beauties again!

    • Hi Lori and thank you for commenting. I bet you really are ready for the arrival of spring. You’ve had some serious winter weather. I just hope it all stays north of Central Texas. Today and last night we had around 20 degrees and I don’t quite have the right clothing that would enable me to stay oudoors for very long. Ten minutes or so is about all I can take. I hurry with chores and run inside to warm up and then back out again. Thank goodness I have warm boots. I just need better thermals and some coveralls. :-)

  17. Just Rod says:

    What a wonderful collection of flutterbys and great images. I particularly like the Orange Sulphur? pictures. Though I think I’d easily confuse them with the dogface.
    We have been enjoying seeing butterflies again – hadn’t seen any in Winnipeg since late September. We keep stopping at hedges on our walk to the grocery store to admire them.

    • Rod, thanks for the comment and now that you have mentioned butters can you get some pics of them? I know that you and Susan are enjoying the warm sunshine and overall atmosphere of PV. It’s great that you can leave -25 degrees behind for a few months. The dogface is the easiest for it has a distinctive wing shape (sharp angle on the upper wing). After studying pic after pic I find then easy to tell from the others. The other sulphurs give me a headache when trying to figure them out.

      • Just Rod says:

        I hope we see the butters when we have the cameras – they seem to know when we are on a grocery shop rather than a photographic outing.

      • Gee,Rod I know you can get some flutterby pics. Wear jeans (blue or blue pants), a medium blue shirt. If you have a red shirt wear that sometimes. Never wear white. When you see the butter/s walk very slowy toward the subject. Stop a few feet away and then gradually inch your way toward the butter/s. Unobtrusively raise your camera to eye level and make all movements very slow. All motion must be very slow. If it flys away just wait as most times the butter will return to the area and sometimes the same flower. Of course all butter species are not alike but with the Monarchs and Queens they moved within a general area and I just stood still until they returned. When frightened they sort of circle around and hip hop by alighting on various plants and then will return to the same spot or almost the same spot. Hopefully that is the general butterfly behavior and the butters in Mexico will act similiar to the ones here.

        Lots of patience is the key word. It can be very tiring and then again sometimes you’ll be lucky and not have to work hard to get some photos. I hope these piffly tips will help you. This is about all I can think of for now. Sometimes I hand hold my camera. But I found I get a wee bit sharper image when using my tripod. My lens is a cheap canon kit lens (18mm-200mm) and that is one reason my photos are not so hot. I yearn for a better lens but it seems one of my animals is always needing vet care so there goes treating myself. I use the 200mm most times on Auto focus. I don’t lose precious time on focusing. You have to be very quick but at the same time your movements must be slow. You’ll get the feel for it with a bit of practice.

      • Just Rod says:

        Thanks for all the tips Yvonne. No jeans here or long pants, but I have blue shorts and blue Ts Ill try them when out looking for the flutterbys, I have been taking my Sony toy camera (as Andrew would call it) it has a pretty good motion stabilizer for close up and telephoto shooting, so I don’t take the tripod all the time. But you are quite right the shots are better with the tripod, if I use it I turn the motion stabilizer off.
        Back at home at our cabin I can sit and wait for as long as it takes for the butterflies to sit still. Here on walk we tend not to stand waiting for as long.
        Today I concentrated on buildings and venders. The buildings at least standstill. :D

  18. shoreacres says:

    Oh, Yvonne! These photos are just fabulous. There are butterflies here I’ve never seen, and the details on the few I know are marvelous. I can use this post for helping to identify the ones I see – it will be a good place to start, because we’re both “Texas”. I suppose there are differences between the coast and your area, but I also think there are plenty of similarities.

    Some of the photos are special because the color “match” between the flower and butterfly go so beautifully together – like the white checkered skipper on scabiosa. I wonder – do butterflies sometimes prefer flowers that match their color for camouflage? That’s a question I’ve never thought of before, but seeing it so often in your photos made me think of it.

    Working through photo files is a long, hard task. Thanks for sharing these with us – they’re really special!

    • Well now Linda you are generous with your compliments. The pics really are not that good but thank you. I need a prime lens and then the pics will be lots sharper. So help me Hanna one day soon I’m going to treat myself to a decent lens before I bite the dust.

      About the camouflage.I’ve not read anything suggesting that but maybe they do if the opportunity exists. If you noticed just about everything nectared on Skyflower, Mexican Milkweed, and the African Blue Basil. But some butters prefer certain plants and the Monarchs love the milkweed and Frostweed. Years past they used the Frostweed in the fall. This year only a few nectared on Frostweed. This is the first year that I had planted milkweed and now I will need to replace all of it plus add some more. The freeze I fear killed the roots. There is no way that it survived with temps in the 20’s. The Skyflower is in a huge pot and in a wagon that I pulled into the laundry room/storage room. It is quite large and I didn’t want to lose a nice plant.

  19. TexWisGirl says:

    a great set of beautiful butterflies! i’ve fed strawberries and banana peels to them, too (until our squirrels found the plate!) just love the queens!

    • Thanks so much Theresa. Those squirrels are boogers, aren’t they? They find anything that is put out for birds and the butters. Regular pests, they are. Just keep the peelings in the fridge till you’re ready to put those out. Get some cheap wine or beer and pour in the pan. Maybe the squirreles won’t like the alcohol on the fruit. :-)

  20. Andrew says:

    What a wonderful selection, Yvonne. Amazing variety in your yard and the photos are lovely. I like the little Skipper best. Do you ever get good moths to photograph?

    • Andrew, I’ve only seen one very small white moth. I have no idea what file I put that pitiful pic in. I might have deleted that one. I didn’t have any nectar plants for the one or two species that we do get that are so pretty. I had some caterpillars on the tomatoes and I left them alone. They are called tomato hornworms and can really eat more than their weight. Some people pick then off or poison them not knowing that the hornworm will become a beautiful moth. The moth is very pretty but I can’t say its name at the moment. I’ve not photographed that one.

      I’m glad you like the little skipper.They are so tiny and extremely difficult to photograph.They are aptly named and skittish.

  21. desertrose7 says:

    Drunken butterflies. Now there’s a notion. ;)
    Gorgeous pictures.

  22. What a riot of colour and life. Well done.

  23. penpusherpen says:

    I’m in heaven, absolutely, Yvonne, I love to see ‘flutterbys’, once seen I defy anyone not to smile and experience a lift of spirits. Your story of the female Monarch made the struggle seem so real, the cycle that continues for the next generation. Beautiful all of them, such colourful and delicate creatures. The World would be somewhat less without their presence.
    and I don’t know about Butterflies, but I’d certainly be drawn to the ‘spiked’ fruit, (but not too rotted, ‘cos I’d have to draw the line!! ;-) ) Many thanks for such a great start to the day. xPenx

    • Hi Penny and thank you for the lovely words. I’m so glad that you enjpoyed seeing the flutterbys. You mean to tell me that you would not enjoy a good spiked overripe banana? :-) Well truthfully I’d have to pass on that as well. It seems that the flitters love sweet things that have fermented. So I’ll be sure to “fix then up” good this spring.I hope and pray that this awful weather has not had an effect on the population of the various species. Certainly do not want to see anymore of a decline in the Monarchs.

  24. Wow Yvonne. You sure do get a wide variety of butterflies and have a great garden for attracting them. And your delay in posting is perfect timing for a midwinter pick me up too.
    Lots of lovely pictures. I did not get to see a single monarch this year much less photograph any. Lucky you. :-)

    • Steve, thanks so much for the kind words. I get the monarchs because they “funnel through” a swath of Texas as they migrate to and from Nexdic. I thnk the swath is a couple of hundred miles across but I need to read about that again. Having the buttterfly garden with an abundance of milkweed and frostweed in the fall certainly was a huge help in attracting them to my yard. I just wish I had gotten interested in photographing them years ago when I readiluy had the money to spend on a prime lenses. That’s how things go. “Hour late and a dollar short.” Stress the short part of the dollars. :-)

  25. Gosh, you do know a lot about butterflies Yvonne. You have some lovely photos there, I do like the queens, and the skippers, and the fritillaries, OK, they are all gorgeous. How lovely to have a butterfly-attracting garden.

    • Thanks Ms Gib.I really am no expert but I’ve read a fair amount. There are many things that I do not know about the butters. I just wish I could identify the small ones and the sulphurs but even experts have a difficult time trying to figure some of them out. Differnt seasons causes the size to change plus the fact that color can change as well when the scales have just about all worn off. The color is not imbedded in the body of the butter. Color is made up of itty bitty individual scales so some of those butters that I posted were already faded and the wings were tattered from traveling long distances. I like the fritillaries too. The orange is so beautiful.

  26. Lottie Nevin says:

    My word you’ve been busy! What a fabulous collection of butterflies, Yvonne. The colours and detail are fantastic and some of the shots are really sharp. The Monarch is very photogenic, it’s markings really stand out beautifully and the foliage and blooms make a lovely composition. The American Snout, I wonder if this is any relation to Colin? I want to write longer but my cursor keeps flying all over the page (serious problems with my laptop at the moment) so want to send this comment to you before it goes completely haywire! p.s it took great control for me not to respond to your email but your news is encouraging and I’m feeling relieved. Congratulations once more on your magnificent butterfly post. Big hugs to you from Spain. Lottie XXXXX

    • Thank you Lottie. I did think of Colin when I inserted those snout butterfly pics. However, he is much better looking than the butter and I still prefer photographing dogs, cats, and horses. I’ll take a dog anyday to photograph rather than a butter. Thank you for responding to my news. Funny thing is that my heart rate had returned to normal by Tuesday. I just have to be careful not to eat chocolate or drink too much decaf coffee and use virtually no salt on anything. But I certainly can follow a rigid diet if that is what it takes to keep my ticker in good shape. :-)

      I hope you can get your computer fixed. Would you need to take it to Granada or Almeria for repair? I am anxiously awaiting a new post and I know that you can not write with it acting up. Do you have a security systmen installed and if you don’t then viruses and malware will infect your computer and eventually cause it to shut down.

      Thanks so much for the lovely words about the photos. I think you are right about the Monarch. It truely is photogenic. If you saw it in the real time you would be astounded by its beauty. The markings make it unique. Will send email in a day or few. ~yvonne xxxx

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