We have been patiently waiting for months to see signs from the butterfly community that they are back and strong. In my last post, Beyond Butterflies, I wrote about the lack of butterflies this year. Now, here we are in July and we are starting to see few more butterflies but I have yet to spot a male/female pair of the same species. I have not seen any black swallowtail butterflies this season and they are typically numerous and frequent in our garden. There is not a black swallowtail caterpillar to be found on the parsley, fennel or golden alexander.
But its not all doom and gloom for every butterfly species. Sometime when we weren't looking the fritillary butterflies managed to find mates and have been laying eggs. I first found two variegated fritillary caterpillars on a viola in front of the house. We have lots of violas around the garden for this very reason. They migrate all over the garden and I just let them grow where they will hoping a gulf fritillary will find them. And they have!
This prompted me to look at the passion vine again. I had been checking them regularly but finding nothing for weeks so I honestly had stopped looking everyday. Much to my surprise I found this hungry caterpillar devouring a leaf. This was enough to get me jumping up and down in my garden boots.
But wait there are more, lots more! Aren't they gorgeous!
This is really good news! Hopefully we will have a lot more fritillary butterflies fluttering about the garden in the next few weeks. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that we will see other butterfly and moth families make their appearance very soon! Have you been seeing more butterflies in your garden yet?