Following are three images of Monarch butterflies during a drive at Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.
The following images, in random order, are what I am seeing this summer with limited travel, too much heat, and more time at home.
The Eastern Bluebird couple in our backyard is still busy bringing food back for their second brood.
Pawpaw (Asimina Triloba) is plentiful this year. We have two trees which give more fruit than we know what to do with. Pawpaw does not ship well, and is not available in grocery stores. It has been described as tasting like a combination of banana and mango. Chilled pawpaw was a favorite dessert of George Washington.
The abundant rain we have had this Spring has led to lots of vibrant summer flowers.
Some Monarch butterflies have already started to visit the milkweed.
Inside the house, the Clivia plant, now divided into three separate pots, is also blooming vigorously.
Following is today’s shot of the Monarch chrysalis. There is the shape of a butterfly in there, but it has not come out yet. It has been 15 days, past the 10-14 days from formation to emergence.
The milkweed plants have gone to seed. Here’s a shot of one of the seedpods.
There are still some flowers, and the garden still has some spots of colors.
In addition to Monarchs, several other kinds of butterflies have been visiting and partaking from our milkweed. An often seen visitor is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, one of the most common butterflies of Eastern North America. The one shown below was quite willing to stop once in a while to allow me to take its pictures.
This year I tried to grow from seeds orange milkweed, also called butterfly weed (Asclepias Tuberosa). So far only two plants grew and they are displaying bright orange flowers.
These plants are not as tall as the pink or swamp milkweed planted three years ago and, in the summer, visited daily by Monarch butterflies.
I also planted Cosmos flowers from seeds. They are starting to bloom and here are some pictures of them.
I have been planting milkweed (Asclepias Tuberosa) in our backyard for the past three years. It’s an easy plant, requiring virtually no care (note the weed in its name). A sunny afternoon found a bee and a Monarch butterfly on the milkweed.
Last week, in Prairie Sun Redux I posted a photo of three Rudbeckia Prairie Sun which had bloomed after their predecessors had been eaten by deer. Well, those deer also ate them and there is no bud left to bloom for the rest of the year. Sigh.
Only milkweed and Cosmos flowers remain. Here are a few shots of them at the height of the season.
There are definitely two Monarch butterflies in our backyard. We have been seeing them fluttering back and forth among the pink milkweed plants, or flying in tandem up and down. As soon as I got home yesterday, they swung by the glass patio door, challenging me to come out and take their pictures.
Three years ago, I planted pink milkweed, Asclepias Incarnata, in the back of our house to attract and help Monarch butterflies, whose number has been in decline in recent years. The first year several came, and then there were Monarch caterpillars crawling on the milkweed plants. Then after a few days they disappeared, maybe eaten by the many birds flying around our bird feeder. Last year, not one single Monarch showed up.
This year, at least one did appear, captured in the following photos.