Nurture, Respect, Learn, Educate, Always Grow!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hope Grows: Finally Some Butterflies!

Earlier this summer I found Monarch butterfly caterpillars on the butterfly weed and swallowtail caterpillars on the parsley and I have been waiting all summer to see the butterflies. Finally they have arrived. 

Fortunately despite the oppressive heat there are a few plants that are performing so that there is food for these pollinators.








These beautiful winged creatures just seem to bring so much life to the garden. They are so graceful and fun to watch filtering and fluttering around and are a symbol of hope for the next generation to come.

Another seasonal visitor, ruby-throated hummingbirds, are busy zooming around the garden as if they are in the Daytona 500. I have been able to identify three hummers in this group and they are a curious family hovering in front of my face when I am out in the garden as if I were an alien from another planet and they are inspecting me.



Last week I blogged about how poor my garden was looking after being away on vacation for 3 weeks. I have been diligently nursing some plants back from near death and it looks as if there is hope yet for some of my ferns.


And the Calamondin orange tree is incredibly fragrant and full of blooms which the bees are devouring. Just how many bees can fit on one bloom?



Over the next month I hope to catch up reading all the blogs that I have missed over the busy summer. I also hope to plant my fall garden and (dare I say it) see some cooler temperatures. Anything out of the triple digits would be great. I am linking to Sweet Bean Gardening for this months Hope Grows meme. Please stop by Hanni's blog and check out what others are hoping for this month.

22 comments:

  1. I love the black and blue salvia!

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  2. Tigers and Skippers and Monarchs and Hummingbirds -- what wonderful visitors you are enjoying!

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  3. Your photos are always wonderful! I think I'm asking Santa for a better camera this year! Butterflies have been popping up in my garden, too. I've already seen a few monarchs, which is exciting. I don't know where they were for the past few months, but I'm glad they're back!! Do you think that some of your plants went dormant instead of dying? I've had that happen before. I was thrilled when they "came back to life" in the fall.

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  4. Yay!! So happy to see those butterflies! Isn't it nice when your garden responds to your attention? Glad to hear your ferns are going to make it. Mine are looking horrible (River Fern - native) but I'm hoping TS is right, maybe just going dormant.

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  5. Oh how fun to have the butterflies and hummers -- and to actually get a photo of them! Good for you. Yes, some plants do just go dormant in the heat to protect themselves. I think I'm going dormant right now, too, as a matter of fact. Maybe I'll revive when it cools down too :-) I should send you a picture of a plant that I saw at Callaway gardens that was VERY fragrant and the bees were all over it. Same thing...I was wondering how many bees could be on one bloom. It kind of looked like a fuzzier version of a butterfly bush/buddleia. Light pink. Kind of shrub-like. Smelled wonderful. Know what I'm talking about?

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  6. Wowwww...you take amazing photographs. and you are the go-to butterfly gal! I've seen lots in my garden, but I can't identify any of them. I really love your hummer photos!!!

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  7. That orange tree is popular! I have been happy to see some butterflies in my garden, too. Your photos are fabulous. Glad you're nursing your garden back. It's amazing to me how much plants want to live.

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  8. You really have the critters this week. Lovely photos of all your guests. I never saw that black and white butterfly. Is it a swallowtail?

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  9. Wonderful photos!!!
    Those butterflies are amazing! Good for you for identifying them as caterpillars.

    Glad to catch-up with you.
    Julie

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  10. Your pictures are just splendid! So vivid and beautifully composed. So glad the butterflies have arrived too. They are almost as pretty as your black and blue salvia!

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  11. Beautiful butterfly pictures! We haven't had that many this year :(.

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  12. Melissa Jo, the black and blue salvia has been a great performer and the pollinators sure do love it.

    NellJean, gardening for the pollinators is what summer is all about for me in the garden!

    CM, the plants certainly died back from lack of water but the roots were still alive so I think with the supplemental water I have been giving them has encouraged new growth. Thank goodness!

    Cat, I am so relieved that some of the plants are coming back. I was thinking about all the plants I was going to have to replace in the fall. Ugh! I hope your River Fern makes it!

    Toni, ha, I know how you feel. I feel like I melt everything I go outside. I too am looking forward to some cooler temps so that I can get out and enjoy my garden again. I didn't realize you went to Callaway too...if you can send me a picture of the plant you saw it would be easier for me to try and identify.

    Thanks Hanni you are sweet! I love butterflies and I garden to attract as many as I can to my garden. Here is a great website if you want to try and id those in your garden
    http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/

    HolleyGarden, you are right, plants seem to have a very strong will to live. They are survivors especially those that are native and drought tolerant. I am making notes of those that are going strong in this heat and drought and will be adding more to my garden.

    Donna/GWGT, I am thrilled that I am finally seeing some of the "big" butterflies in my garden. The first one shown is a black swallowtail. I usually have a lot of them. They are beautiful!

    Julie, thank you! I have made an effort to put host plants in my garden so that the butterflies lay their eggs here and I can watch the full life cycle instead of just having the butterflies pass through my garden. It is exciting to watch the caterpillars grow and my kids also enjoy it.

    Thanks Tina! I love going out to the garden and seeing a sea of butterflies fluttering around!

    Masha, up to now I haven't seen many either and have heard the same plight from many bloggers and yet I haven't read anything about why they are so sparse this year. I am just so happy they have finally arrived.

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  13. No worries about your garden, obviously there's a lot of action going on and plants and insects are thriving. I'm still amazed at how hot it's been in the southern states. For us this was the summer that never was with rain rain rain our constant companion.

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  14. Beautiful photos! I have never noticed butterflies on salvia guaranitica, though the hummingbirds like it. guess I will have to look more closely. I've been too busy to be out in the garden much lately, so it's nice to live vicariously through your photos ....

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  15. Your butterflies are gorgeous! I have quite a few hummers zooming around my garden, but very few butterflies. I need to plant some things to remedy that.

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  16. Ain't it great. My fennel and parsley are loaded with cats. Black Swallowtails mostly, haven't seen the Monarchs yet. the large female Eastern Swallowtail your photographed is probably going to drop some eggs soon. If you get some green larva of them take me a picture (ok?) great photos.

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  17. karin, Fantastic news and wonderful captures! Your post makes me smile and seeing the happy pollinators makes my heart soar. gail~

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  18. Marguerite, the weather has indeed been uncharacteristically extreme this year. You are drowning while we are parched! Despite all the sadness in the garden there are glimmers of life and hope.

    Sheila, I understand busy! I am just getting back out into my garden and exploring...I am seeing more butterflies on the salvia and agastache this year because some of their other favorites are not performing as well. They take what they can get!

    Thanks Alison...yes, if you plant for them they will come. Especially if you put in host plants. You will notice many more butterflies hanging around.

    greggo, you bet I will!

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  19. Oh how gorgeous!! What lovely photos.

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  20. They are so beautiful butterflies, and the contrast with the blue flowers lovely. Just like Greggo, i would also like to see the larva of those swallowtails if it's not so much burden. thanks.

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  21. Your post gives me hope that the butterflies will arrive here, too. I've seen just a few this season - many fewer than last summer. Your photos are beautiful!

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  22. I have seen some butterflies, but not as much as in previous years. I look forward to seeing more. Your photos are lovely...like a butterfly paradise!

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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