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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly

Great Spangled Frittillary on Purple Coneflower

Close-up

Pearl Crescent butterfly. Scores are feeding on white clover on our path so we keep the path mowed high to preserve the clover flowers for them.

Stokes Beginner's Guide To Butterflies, has an easy ID key to help you quickly identify the butterflies you see.

Summer is special in so many ways, not the least of which is the abundance of beautiful butterflies in our gardens. Birds are more active early and late in the day now, so in the middle of the day we look for butterflies. Here are a few that are out now. The Great Spangled Butterfly is one of my favorites. So big, orange, and just fun saying the name. Butterflies love Purple Coneflower and we have lots of that in bloom. Monarch butterflies feed on flowers and lay their eggs on milkweed.

The hot weather favors butterflies as they need to warm their bodies to fly. Adult butterflies come to flowers for nectar, lay their eggs on special host plants, which can be unique to each species of butterfly. The eggs hatch, larva feed on the plant then turn into a pupa or crysalis from which the adult butterfly will emerge. A complete cycle or generation is called a brood, and butterfly species can go through from just one to as many as four broods per year, depending on the species and the number of warm months.

1 comment:

Veronica said...

Awesome photography. I love your blog!