Butterflies back!

birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)July 24, 2005

Saw a monarch today, earlier than last year. 3 Tiger Swallowtails out today, and in the last couple days have had Am. Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Red spotted purple, Silver spotted skipper, little skippers whatever they are, Black Swallowtail, a blue, and a whole bunch of cabbages.

It's good it was just a delay and not a population crash. When my butterfly bushes start blooming it will be a circus out there.


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wardw(z6 NJ)

Have you been coming in my yard, because that's what I have. They been giving some attention to the butterfly bushes, but mainly they've been at the Brazian Verbena, and some of the hummingbird salvias.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 2:07PM
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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

Monarchs (laying eggs on milkweed), E. Black Swallowtails (laying eggs on fennel), Red Spotted Purples, Am. Painted Ladies feeding on the echineca, monarda, phlox, zinnias, and buddelia.

Bonus today was the Baltimore Oriole who was bathing in the garden that was being washed over by the sprinkler (it is hot out this Monday)

A walk thru the local park earlier this morning had well over 100 cabbage whites. Plus many of the swallowtails, monarchs, etc. now that we've had drier conditions over the last 4-5 days.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 4:13PM
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Katrinawitch(Zone 6b NJ)

I know nothing of butterflies, but now I want to read up on them! The only ones I've seen on my flowers are the little white kind (can I assume these are cabbage whites?). They love my echinacea and lavender.

That's it...next year, I'm definitely getting some butterfly bushes!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 10:21AM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

Last evening, 6 tiger swallowtails and 2 great spangled fritillaries on one patch of purple cone flowers! I don't think I've ever seen that many before.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 11:08AM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

realized what I've had is spicebush swallowtail, not black (black has a double row of yellow spots; spicebush has an iridescent cloud above one row - got to remember that). I really wanted swallowtail caterpillars - my kids love their little stink horns.

I finally found an orange butterfly weed that likes clay soil - thanks to Tracy - but if the monarch caterpillars move in on them I will have to keep them in a caterpillar cage and bring in the pink milkweed leaves from the field - my plants are a bit small to sustain hungry caterpillars.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 1:00PM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

I'm beginning to think this is a banner butterfly year. Although my patch of cupplant is a good distance from the house I can see at least ten butterflies down there, some tiger swallowtails, and there are more again on the cone flower outside the kitchen window.

Lisa, I thought maybe you had spicebush rather than black. I've only had black once - they laid their eggs in a pot that I brought into the house to overwinter and I was astounded to find two newly hatched butterflies clinging to the lace curtains one morning!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 11:40AM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Some years back we did have black swallowtail caterpillars on dill - in a pot - they were lots of fun to watch. maybe the stuff in a pot stands out to the mamas?


    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 1:40PM
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Hanging out w/my zinnias & coneflowers are a bunch of small taupe colored ones some kind of skippers I guess. A few silver spotted skippers & I think a pale swallowtail.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 2:18PM
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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

I wouldn't exactly call it a banner year. Butterfly numbers continue to decrease. When monarchs are no longer the predominate species, that tells you something.

As we continue to homogenize our environment with faceless tract housing, dominated by lawn and a cursory foundation plantings, you're not going to get a lot of butterflies. Then factor in the blowing away of leaves, which eliminates the areas that butterflies can lay their eggs for the next season.

I've seen Tiger Swallowtails etc. since May in good stands of woodlands. While we ALL see plenty of butterflies now in our perrenial gardens, I again, would hardly begin stating that we're inundated with them.

Don't mean to be harsh, but it's a fact with the basis for it being the direct correlative of our changed environment.

Enjoy them.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 9:28AM
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njtea(NJ Z6)

Over the weekend, I was fortunate to see a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail together working a patch of Verbena bonariensis. Then yesterday at home I saw the black swallowtail caterpillar on my dill - looked to be large enough to soon be pupating.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 9:45AM
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