After Ol’ Wally’s dramatic tale from yesterday, I decided the blog needed an uplifting moment–and butterflies seem to still fit that idea. No spicebush swallowtails or monarchs died during the time Hickory and I visited these flowers!
But we did find one juvenile hiding!
“As he well should!” Hickory chittered. “Birds. If you can’t trust them to stay out of your sunflower seeds, then when can you trust them?”
Hickory and I saw a little movement in the plants, and really doubted that it was anything but the wind. Then, there it was again.
Have you humans ever tried to get a good look at these tiny butterflies?They’re about the size of my paw and hardly sit still. That’s a zinnia leaf it’s on, to give you an idea. Luckily, Hickory spotted the bright red band running across it, and that made the identification easy–it’s a red-banded hairstreak!
Keep up with your watering! Caterpillars are still munching away on your plants, like this monarch caterpillar. He might have gotten a bit lost in an azalea–likely looking for a place to hang his chrysalis–but you can see he just came from the milkweed leaves beyond.
Sometimes known as the Yellow Woolly Bear, this fuzzy caterpillar is striking with his furry spines. He is somewhat smaller than the black and orange woolly bear, but feeds on clover and grass so likely you’ve seen him at some point. After eating his fill and changing to the adult form, he’s known as the Virginia Tiger moth, a white moth that we don’t have a photo of, so here’s a resource atButterflies and Moths of North America.