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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Butterflies in the Backyard

When you have wild flowers in your yard, there will also be butterflies. Since I have left the Asian dayflower weeds alone when mowing the yard, there are now flowers there every day. They bloom in the morning and wilt at night. But every time I am in the backyard Bow and Leo and Brownie are all there.

Every time the dogs see that I am interested in something, they come huffing and puffing along to see what it is, and if I haven't frightened the butterfly away, the dogs always do. That's how I missed  a perfectly good shot of a Red Admiral, and Common Buckeye and countless others that were attracted by the dayflowers. But yesterday I got lucky. Despite the chimp and dog noises, and with the dogs milling around everywhere, I got quite a few butterfly pictures, anyway.

There was a damaged red-spotted purple butterfly who took refuge on the wall of the house just above where the dog dishes were.

At about the same time, a silver spotted skipper came by and seemed to want to clean the dog food bowl.

There are always crumbs of dog food that no matter how hungry they are, the dogs cannot seem to lap up,

The skipper seemed to want to finish up the job.

Meanwhile, the damaged red-spotted purple was still in the area.

And though I thought that I had seen it take off over the wall, a little later I saw it, or a near relative with a damaged wing, in the back of the yard, by the trampoline.

On a nearby dayflower, an undamaged red-spotted purple was resting.

The dark blue of the red-spotted purple went well with the two blue petals of the dayflower.

You might think that with the much wider variety of flowers in my front yard and the pasture and the woods, there would be many more butterflies outside of the backyard with its barking dogs and displaying chimpanzee.

Ashy Sunflowers in the Pasture
And, of course, there are. There are, for instance,  many yellow butterflies, clouded and unclouded sulfurs, I think they are called, but they are so flitty that they will not stop for a picture.

In the afternoon, I even thought I saw a Monarch flying over the pasture. But I could only film it from afar.


  1. such beautiful insects, worthy of our help and appreciation!

    1. Yes, they are beautiful, Michelle. I think they are definitely worthy of our appreciation, but the most helpful thing we can do is not to interfere with them.

  2. I love the variety of butterflies on your land.

  3. Wow, that red spotted butterfly's wings were really damaged! It's kind of sad, but also a type of 'marker' for the closing end of summer when we start to see the damaged wings of all the butterflies. Well, not *all*... I saw a freshly-hatched Monarch yesterday - brilliant colors and brand new wings, headed for Mexico I suppose at this point in the season. I love to read about your observations of all your butterflies, Aya!

    1. Thanks, Kathy, Yes, it's sad to see the damaged wings, and also interesting that not all are equally damaged. I saw a Monarch from afar, too, and it was headed south. But it would not stop to chat.