Sunday, August 7, 2011


For some reason, this year the butterflies have shown up quite late to the nectar party in our yard.  I blame the cold, late spring, but I have no idea why they are so sparse here this year.

Our yard is planted -- deliberately -- with a lot of perennials and annuals that draw in the beautiful winged gems.

For example, we've got a lovely deep reddish-purple butterfly bush, whose blooms arch upward toward the sky beside the long windows in our sunroom, and usually give me a stunning view of glittering butterflies from mid-June onward.  This year, it's been a couple of swallowtail regulars that only showed up mid-July, and finally a monarch that I only spotted on Friday.

I've also planted various shades of lantana (the yellow above is a particular favorite), geranium, verbena, petunia, sage, pentas, and yarrow (and that's just off the top of my head -- I know I've planted more enticing species out there).  But the butterflies are still sparse this year, whereas the last few years have been so thick that it was almost a fight to perch on a blooming branch of butterfly bush outside my window.

In any case, on Friday, two lovely butterflies put on a show for me on the flowering pots outside the front door.  They showed up just as I took our westie, Roxie out to visit our yard, and I managed to get a couple of decent snapshots of them.  Thought you all might like a spot of sunshine, too.

I have been waiting all summer to get some butterfly snapshots with my (almost) new camera that were worth sharing.  Finally, my "not really all that patient" patience has paid off.

The above monarch was a little skittish, so I had to snap photos quickly before he finally flew off in disgust.  Felt like I was a "garden papparazzi."

And, finally, a black swallowtail stayed still for me long enough to catch this one:

(All photos by Christy Hardin Smith.)

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