Daily Archives: February 6, 2014

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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