It has been a varied week, cool and dry earlier, now hot and humid with thunderstorms predicted later to hopefully cool things down.
Yesterday, a Monarch (Danaus plexippus) visited my zinnias, elevating zinnias to a ‘must-have’ in my garden from now on. I actually got a shot of this one, as I missed ‘capturing’ the last one. My second sighting here this year, and both times it was zinnias upon which they fed. Doesn’t she look fine? (Males have a black dot on their hindwing). Probably freshly emerged from her chrysalis and fattening up for her 5000-mile journey to Mexico. What a marvel this insect is. I hope this is a good sign that this imperiled species is making a comeback. Fingers crossed!
On Sunday, I spotted what I thought was a Monarch, but it turned out to be a Viceroy (Limenitis archippus), however, it was just as beautiful. To tell the difference, a Viceroy has a black band across its hindwing and only one row of white spots.
Another confusing butterfly is a Fritillary, of which, there are many varieties. The most common one in my garden is the Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele).
Here are just a few of the floral highlights in my garden this week :
Zinnias (Z. elegans ‘County Fair’) are continuing to please with or without butterflies.
Spider Flowers (Cleome hasslieriana) are charming me with their shape and color. See the little visitor above and another below?
Left: I like how the leaf veining in the Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) echoes that of the Cleome.
What’s happening this week in your garden?