Butterfly & Garden Pictures
Sleepy oranges are the most reliable, year-round butterflies here. There are several cats on my two Cassia bicapsularis/Christmas cassia plants. I've got one partridge pea/Chamaecrista fasciculata plant in my garden, in bloom, with many pea pods forming on it, but there's not a single egg or cat on it - same with my buttered popcorn cassia/C. elegans? So I won't replant the popcorn cassia - even a light freeze will reputedly kill even the roots - and I'll plant the seeds of the partridge peas in the meadows. Maybe sulphurs will use it eventually. I also found a volunteer Chamaecrista nictitans along my road, but there are no cats on it either. Here's a sleepy orange cat - I'm assuming it's a sleepy orange and not a cloudless sulphur, because I don't see any blue along the yellow line -
I released four male monarchs today, and I released one male and one female earlier. There are about seven more chrysalides in the cage, and there are also a good many cats on the milkweed/Asclepias curassavica outside. They've about stripped it to the bone, so, if there's not enough of it, I'll put the cats on some honeyvine that's growing on the fence. I know they won't like it, but it's all I've got left. Here's a monarch cat -
I've got an orange tree in my garden, and the oranges are growing good - they should ripen in October or November. Here's a section of the tree - you can see the popcorn cassia at the bottom of the picture. I had to prop it up on the orange tree, because it kept falling over, another reason I don't like it.
Pipevine swallowtails, cloudless sulphurs and gulf fritillaries are everywhere now. The pipevine swallowtails have eaten nearly every leaf of aristolochia out there - fortunately, new growth is coming on. The gulf frits, likewise, have eaten most of the passionvines down to the nubs. I've been moving the cats who are left on skeleton vines to my P. 'Incense' which they don't like as well as P. incarnata, but they will eat and finish their life cycle out on. I've also been moving the little ones to the P. Lavender Lady - it's leaves are smaller and more tender. I'm finding chrysalides everywhere, on the casing around the windows, under a table on the porch, and all over the fences. Here's one that emerged this morning -
I saw a female red admiral laying eggs on the false nettles in my garden a few days ago. I also saw a question mark flitting around the false nettles on the east side of the house, but I didn't see any egg-laying. Hopefully, it was a female, and she left some eggs. I saw a red admiral in the trees (magnolia and yaupon) by the nettles, which is where the females usually hang out -
And I finally got a picture of the latest "road admiral" late yesterday afternoon. Every afternoon a RA, undoubtedly a male, perches in the rocks on the road. Some of these road admirals are friendly and will land on your arm or your clothes. This guy is a little more stand offish, but he let me get close enough to get his picture. Red admirals sure look different on the underside, don't they?