Monarchs in Plano, Tx

    Two years ago we saw migrating Monarchs nectaring on these white flowers. We were so happy to see them again in the same place today! There were at least 300 on these bushes that grow along this creek bed. Mostly they were resting and nectaring as there was a south wind blowing about 20 mph. A cold front is headed this way, in about 4 days, with a north wind to push them on to Mexico where they are migrating for the winter. It’s always amazing to see them in such great numbers.

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Monarch9.jpg

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Monarch3.jpg

Monarch7.jpg

Success – A Monarch on my Frostweed!

My Frostweed is in full bloom! So I was thinking just yesterday, why am I keeping this 8 foot flower(weed) growing in my yard? The flowers opened a couple of days ago and nothing was on it. I had just about decided even though I had been told that this flower is a butterfly(in particular Monarchs) magnet that it just wasn’t meant to be for me! Today I casually took a look and it was covered with all kinds of bees, flies, tiny flying bugs and a few small butterflies. So I started taking pictures and all of a sudden a Monarch appeared! I was so happy and got lots of pictures while it fed on the flowers. Hopefully this beautiful Monarch will be winging its way to Mexico tomorrow! Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the Monarch pics.

Here is some more info about Frostweed.

http://npsot.org/wp/story/2011/1806/

Frostweed - 8 ft tall

Frostweed and Friends

Frostweed, butterfly, bee

Frostweed&Butterflies

Monarch - closed wing

Frostweed and Monarch and other butterflies

Frostweed and Monarch and other butterflies

Monarch 2014

Monarch with Frostweed 2014

Monarch with Frostweed 2014

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.