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Why do I never have a camera when I need one?

Posted by dr.liz 7 NJ (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 16:53

I got home from work today and took a walk around the garden, as usual. I brought some scissors to deadhead flowers. Then I saw an orange and black butterfly fluttering around the zinnias. I knew it was too small for a monarch-I was wondering if it was maybe a Viceroy, but I didn't get a good look. A couple of minutes later it alighted close to me and I saw the underside of the wings. A painted lady! New to my life list, and of course new to the garden.

Is there anything I can plant as a host for these little charmers that isn't too horribly obnoxious in the garden? I had a bunch of Canada thistle at one time, but I have spent the last three years trying to get rid of that, and I don't want to bring it back!

As for the monarchs, things are gradually improving. I have been seeing one in my yard about every other day, either on the Tithonia or, today, nectaring on the swamp milkweed. No eggs, though, as far as I can tell.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Why do I never have a camera when I need one?

Painted ladies use a lot of different host plants, Liz. Two that seem to me like nice garden plants would be hollyhocks and various types of Artemesia.

Painted ladies are rare around here. Although I've raised many American ladies and red admirals, I've never had the privilege of raising this species.


RE: Why do I never have a camera when I need one?

Thank you for straightening me out, Sherry. I thought it was just thistle. Hollyhocks are indeed lovely garden plants. And Pearly everlasting is a nice little plant for the fall. I want to put in more fall bloomers next year-asters, in particular, but also goldenrod. The ornamental grasses also look great at that time of year. I put in switchgrass this year, and I am quite happy with it. Maybe I will put in some Lovegrass-I saw it at the National Arboretum recently and I thought it was very pretty. We have to provide something for our little skipper friends!

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