Posts Tagged ‘butterflies’

Yum Yum

I wrote this blog earlier and didn’t get it posted. I’d rather post it now instead of waiting until next summer.

This is one of my favorite times of the year, when the fruit rots when I put it out for the butterflies. Some summers the butterfly numbers are low, and others they’re just the opposite.


The one above is a question mark. You can tell by the small gold question mark on the underside of its hindwing.


Tawny emperor (a ragged one)

128 crop two

The red admiral butterfly has visited the rotting fruit. It didn’t pose for a picture, so I had to find one in my picture files.


Red spotted purple


Most are hackberry butterflies.


Five tawny emperors, one viceroy (orange one that resembles a monarch butterfly), and a red spotted purple. There’s usually butterflies on the fruit for several hours, unless it’s raining.


Their numbers continued to increase until now when only  10 – 15 visit a day

Dragonflies in the Yard

So far the butterflies are almost nonexistent this summer. I could probably count all I’ve seen on one hand.


So, I’ve switched to dragonflies instead. Their numbers are relatively low. At least they’re in the yard.


Male widow skimmer


This is another widow skimmer. It’s fresher than the one above. This was the only angle it cooperated for.


Female widow skimmer

IMG_5694 too

Halloween pennant — it’s the first I’ve seen this summer.

IMG_5559 too

I have yet to identify the dragonfly above and the one below.


It’s like I’ve said before, I don’t need a name to enjoy the find.

Remaining Bloomers

Summer eased into fall, and only a few flowers still bloom.

IMG_8055 crop red

Flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris)


is a favorite of the tobacco hornworm.

IMG_7703 crop red

Heath asters (Symphyotrichum ericoides)

IMG_7747 crop red

attract late flying butterflies.

IMG_7761 crop red

Wild Indian strawberry  (mock strawberry)

IMG_7789 crop red

has red fruits that aren’t juicy and lack flavor.

The wild strawberry, (Fragaria virginiana) has a white fruit that’s said to be delicious. I haven’t seen it growing here in southern Illinois.

IMG_7776 crop red

Yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta)

IMG_7729 crop red

Summer farewell aster with an immature assassin bug.

IMG_7953 crop red

A few roses still bloom on Grandfather’s Rose. It was given to my grandmother by my great grandfather, when my mother was born … in 1929.

Nature offers plenty to enjoy year round for those interested.

Asters And No Butterflies

IMG_3550 crop red

You can tell butterfly numbers are low when there are no butterflies on the summer farewell asters.

IMG_7276 crop red

 Their numbers have been low all summer, and I’m not sure why.

IMG_1597 red

The asters grow to six or more feet tall.

IMG_1227 crop red

One summer they were in full bloom when the monarch butterflies were migrating south. It was so dramatic, I just couldn’t stay in the house. There would be up to 50 or more monarch fluttering around the asters at any one time!

Pear Tree Remants

A strong wind blew all night and all day.

IMG_1413 red

I had just picked up all the fallen branches out of this dead pear tree yesterday. Today’s wind broke off  branches, limbs and even one of the trunks.

This tree was one of my favorites because of all the butterflies the rotting pears attracted.

IMG_1495 crop red

Lichens growing on the tree attract my attention now. I decided to just enjoy and not try to identify them.

IMG_1471 red

IMG_1518 crop red

IMG_1506 crop red



sap flow gathering red

The pears rotting and their attracting butterflies was one of the highlights of summer. All the butterflies above are hackberry butterflies, except the top one which is a question mark.

viceroy and rs purple on one pear red

Red spotted purple on the left and a viceroy on the right. Viceroys have an extra black band on their hindwing that the monarch lacks.


buckeye red

Common buckeye

The pears also attracted bees, wasps, night flying moths and ants to name a few.

So, obviously, I miss the pear tree being alive.

Now that I’m starting to learn lichens, I hope the tree stands for many more years.

Basking Butterflies

The strong Arctic blast came through southern Illinois before midnight last night. The sun does shine. A northwest wind, gusting to 25, has the windchill at -22.  I didn’t post this blog the end of October when I wrote it. For obvious reasons, today seemed the right day for posting it.


A hard frost changed our yard considerably last night.

IMG_2747 crop red

Butterfly numbers were down to two this afternoon. The orange sulphur spent its time going from one sunny spot to another and basking in the sun.

IMG_2751 crop red

It stayed near the barn where the radiant heat added to that of the direct sunlight. The butterfly also angled its body to receive maximum heat. This angled position is called lateral basking.

IMG_2760 crop red

The other butterfly, a painted lady, preferred the white asters where it basked with its wings open. This position is called dorsal basking.

I sit here looking out the picture window at the backyard, wondering where the warm weather went and if I might see anymore butterflies before winter.

What are the Odds!

I wonder what the odds are of walking around the weedpatch,

IMG_1619 red

  seeing a silvery checkerspot,

IMG_1622 crop red

and turning the corner and finding a pearl cresent?

IMG_1638 red

Silvery checkerspots are double-brooded, and the early ones lay their eggs on winged crownbeard.

IMG_1622 crop red 

Pearl crescents lay their eggs on asters.

IMG_1628 red

I’m sure there’s plenty of asters growing in my weed patch for the pearl crescents. 

IMG_1644 crop red

Winged crownbeard and wingstem are “cousins. ” The crownbeard blooms later in the summer.