One of the great pleasures of having a garden is the many visitors it attracts--and I'm talking about the non-mammalian kind.
Along with flowers come pollinators, including butterflies, moths and bees. When I take my camera into the garden, I find I am more likely to slow down and look closely at the petals, stems and leaves to see who has come to visit.
With the help of a guidebook and Google, I can usually guess at the insect species I've found. The rest of the time, I am quite clueless. If any of my readers has a few more clues than I do, I'd love help in identifying my visitors.
Take a look at my guest book so far this summer; this week's post will just focus on the butterflies who stop by. :
|A Tiger Swallowtail seems to be loving the camera almost as much as the butterfly bush.|
|Another view of a Tiger Swallowtail. Even its body is tiger striped.|
|Some butterflies look very different depending on whether you're look at them from the bottom (ventral) or the top (dorsal). The Spicebush Swallowtail shown here is demonstrating the ventral view.|
|Here is the dorsal view of a Spicebush Swallowtail.|
|A Cabbage White butterfly demonstrates another way to look at the ventral view, as it feeds on purple loosestrife.|
|A dorsal view of the Cabbage White. For some reason, I always seem to see these butterflies in pairs, but they move so fast, I am never able to catch two in the viewfinder at the same time.|
|Here you can see the folded wings on this skipper. Don't know what he is either.|
|Two folded wing skippers alternate between feeding and resting.|
|Horace's Duskywing is quite a bit bigger than most of the skippers, even if it is mostly brown in color like they are. With a wingspan of about an inch and a half, he's much easier to identify.|
|The Silver Spotted Skipper is a very common visitor. At any given moment, a half dozen of these creatures are flitting in and out and among my butterfly bushes.|
|For many people, the Monarch is the archetypical "butterfly." This monarch was posing on Purpletop Vervain, otherwise known as Verbena bonariensis.|
|Monarchs like the butterfly bush, too. I think everybody does.|
|I would love this butterfly just for its name: Great Spangled Fritillary! Sounds like an exclamation: "Great Spangled Fritillary, Martha, is that a moose in the back yard?"|
My garden is so much more than just flowers; it is a place of bright colors and constant movement. A living work of art, it is made all the more precious by the knowledge that its beauty and wonder are short lived.