Summer Farewell

A friend of mine gave me these asters she called summer farewell.

They’ve been well-behaved over the 15 years or so they’ve grown in my butterfly garden. They’ve bloomed with gusto every fall and stayed “contained” in their original place. The base of the clump measures roughly 4×5 feet.

Butterflies, bees and other insects can’t resist the meal they have to offer. Painted ladies (like the one above) are the most common butterfly now in my yard.

The cabbage white didn’t stay long at any one flower.

Common buckeyes bask often and are a more patient feeder.

Several species of fold-winged skippers visit the summer farewell too. This is male sachem.

Recent nights with temperatures in mid 30’s greatly reduced the insect/butterfly numbers. One summer, a great butterfly year, monarchs had started their migration south. Summer farewell was in full bloom, standing 5-6 feet tall.

Fifty to 75 monarchs nectared at the asters at the same time. It was so dramatic and kept me occupied for the couple of days they were here. This didn’t include all the other butterfly species visiting the asters too.

Such an accurance always takes presidence over domestic duties where I’m concerned.


Please excuse the quality of the last picture.

I saw very few monarchs in my yard this summer, and none were a male. The way to tell a male from a female monarch is by the black spot on the vein of a male’s hindwing.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Love these pictures!! I’m so jealous, of all the butterfly species you have in your garden I’ve only seen one in real life (the cabbage).


    • This hasn’t been a good butterfly summer with our drought. On good years I can have up to 50 species or so. (There are a lot of skippers and they can be difficult to identify.)


  2. Posted by Therese on October 21, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Whoa Nelly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Unbelievably amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love this one. Two of my favorite colors …green and purple. The pictures were some of your best. In fact, I like the last one…you got the background a little blurry so the Monarch could stand out. The Monarch migration shots were beautiful. What a gift you received! I HAVE to go buy asters today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. Absolutely gorgeous! Purple is my fave colour too. It blends well with the greens and butterfly. Very nice pictures


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