Fall Butterflies!

The last 2 weeks I have seen lots more butterfies in my yard and around town. I’ve seen a Monarch in my backyard on a Rose of Sharon. I’ve also seen a few more flying  south to Mexico(I hope!)  as I’ve been driving around in my city. I wish these pics were better, but as you know butterflies don’t stay still to have their pictures taken. 🙂

 GulfTurksCap

Gulf Fritillary on Turks Cap
Butterfly on Pentas
Butterfly on Pentas
Monarch in a Rose of Sharon
Monarch nectaring in a Rose of Sharon
Monarch passing through town hopefully on the way to Mexico!
Monarch passing through town, hopefully winging its way to Mexico!

Following the Stages of the Gluf Fritillary

     What can I say – I’ve been obsessed with capturing all of the stages of the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly. My Passion Flower Vine is right outside my kitchen window. There have been many of the females laying eggs. There have been quite a few caterpillars that I have then enjoyed watching munch the leaves. I was lucky enough to see one attached and morphing into a chrysalis! I’ve read that most of the time they crawl away and you don’t see the chrysalis’.

     Well, as I was enjoying a cup of coffee and the cool this morning in my backyard, I was lucky enough to spy a butterfly that had just emerged and was drying by its chrysalis. It had crawled a good 25 feet from the Passion Flower Vine to attach itself to the wire! I saw its first flight and it landed on one of my Rose of Sharon plants and continued to dry. I hope you enjoy the following photos. All were taken in my Butterfly Garden.

Searching for a leaf to lay an egg

Searching for a leaf to lay an egg on

Gulf Fritillary Laying Eggs

Gulf Fritillary Laying Eggs

Resting in the midst of laying eggs

Resting in the midst of laying eggs

New Caterpillar with PassionVine

New Caterpillar with Passion Vine

Hungry gulf fritillary caterpillar on passion flower vine

Hungry gulf fritillary caterpillar on passion flower vine

Gulf Fritallary Caterpillar

Caterpillar attached and morphing into a chrysalis

GulfFritJustImerged

Saturday morning surprise! – This gulf fritillary butterfly and just emerged. It had crawled a good 10-12 feet from my Passion Flower Vine and attached itself to this wire!

EmptyChrysGulfFrit

Empty Chrysalis

GulfFritStillDryingJPG

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly continuing to dry its new wings on a Rose of Sharon.

Following the Stages of the Black Swallowtail

Several caterpillars appeared on my parsley plants. I noticed that the parsley was almost gone, so I made a trip to the grocery store to buy some organic parsley. I brought the remaining caterpillars inside my house and placed them in the container with parsley. I continued to add parsley until they morphed into chrysalis. Once they were both in the chrysalis stage, I took the container out on my back porch where it was protected, but they were back amongst my herbs where they started. They each took 9 days to complete this stage. They emerged 2 days apart! Happily I was able to enjoy seeing each of them before they took flight into the world!

Black swallowtail Fesating on Parsley

Black Swallowtail Feasting on Parsley

Black swallowtail caterpillar inside a plastic container with parsley.

Black swallowtail caterpillar inside a plastic container with parsley.

black swallowtail chrysalis

Black Swallowtail Chrysalis

Black Swallowtail Sept. 9,2014

Black Swallowtail Sept. 9,2014

Butterfly on Chocolate Mint

Black Swallowtail Butterfly resting on my Chocolate Mint.

second black swallowtail Sept 11,2014

Second black swallowtail Sept 11,2014

Happiness is new blooms in the yard!

 I rediscovered today that everyone needs an activity/hobby/exercise that makes you stop worrying and you just enjoy life for a little bit of time. Today mine was watering my flower beds and then taking pictures of my Obedient flowers. They die back and come back every year from their roots and burst into bloom in late August! I love perennials! Enjoy!

Obedient Flowers 2014

Obedient Flowers in Front Yard 2014