Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Butterflies in January?

Does the calendar really say January? With temperatures climbing to the upper side of 70 this weekend and the daffodils poking up it is hard to believe. But, if that isn't odd enough imagine seeing a butterfly in North Georgia in January. When I looked up from pulling privet and Japanese honeysuckle in our newly expanded lot there was a butterfly.


Can you see it perching from the branch imitating a dead leaf? It hung there long enough for me to run and grab my camera. Here is a better shot on its new perch, an expired blackberry cane.


Its distinctive snout gave it its name. I think it is rather endearing.


American Snouts (Brushfoot family) host on Common Hackberry (C. occidentalis), Dwarf Hackberry (Celtis tenuifolia) and Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) trees.


This is the first of its kind I've ever seen in our garden. I don't know how it ended up here in January or how it will survive on the limited blooms available right now but I hope nature will be kind.

19 comments:

  1. I've had these butterflies in my garden here in Southeast Texas this winter, too. Very interesting critters.

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    1. We normally don't see butterflies during winter months here even when it is warm. I think they are as confused as everyone about this winter's weather. I have understand these swarm during migration in Texas. Have you ever witnessed it?

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  2. The snout on that butterfly is impressive. I haven't seen one like that before.

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  3. Fantastic, but will it find any food at this time of year?
    I had a bumble bee in my garden last week, it was a bit slow moving and drowsy and I think it has gone back to sleep now because we have a cold snap and are expecting our first snow for the winter tomorrow.

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    1. Helene, I have a few blooms in my garden...witch hazel, hellebore, camellia and pineapple sage so hopefully it will find something.

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  4. A butterfly in January? WOW! That's really unusual. I wonder if it would respond to a dish of ripe fruit and sugar water. I hope it finds a warm spot to ride out the rest of winter.

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    1. Great idea! I will be sure to put a dish out. It is suppose to get back to more winter-like temperatures next week. Hopefully it will find a spot in the tree bark or leaf litter.

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  5. I haven't seen any butterfly here with that style for a proboscis, is that a proboscis, by the way. If so, then the flowers must be big to get the nectar, oh so interesting!

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    1. It does look like it would be challenging with a snout like that!

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  6. Amazing. So self-respecting butterfly would be in my neighbourhood in January. :)

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  7. It does make you wonder when insects and animals are in the garden when little is offered due to the time of year. I never heard of an American Snout. What a great garden find, especially now.

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  8. Great catch, you are very observant! Your little critter reminds me of the old joke: His nose was on time but the rest of him was ten minutes late. Badump-ching!

    Sorry, couldn't help it.

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  9. Very cool....I have a snowdrop and lots of daff and dwarf irises poking up...amazing but I hope for more insulating snow until March

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  10. Beautiful creature, but that must be a strange thing to see this time of year! So far, our winter has been rather normal here...which means large piles of snow and cold temperatures, except for a brief January thaw. A lot of the trees, though, started budding in December, which means every snow we get is magical because it sticks to the trees in tufts and wafts. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos of the butterfly!

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  11. I hope that the American Snout can find some food! It seems he came to life as a butterfly at the wrong time. Global warming has put many creatures in harms way. I heard on the news just the other day about killer whales that had become trapped in the ice off the east coast of Canada. With the weather being mild for an extended time in the fall, the winter freeze can come on quite suddenly. There is now a whole family of whales that may die because they have only a small breathing hole left in an ocean of ice.

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  12. Cool snout!! We have had some butterflies around for the last few days. Now that the weather has turned I wonder about them.

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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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