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October Butterflies in Georgia: Monarchs and Purple (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Monarch Butterfly, Snellville, Georgia, October 8, 2014

Monarch Butterfly, Snellville, Georgia, October 7, 2014

Yesterday, October 7, 2014, was a real treat for viewing and enjoying butterflies near Atlanta, Georgia.  The past several days have been gorgeous, with just about perfect weather.  Yesterday was one of the most beautiful days of the year, and the butterflies were highly enjoying it as well!

Two Monarch Butterflies, Snellville, Georgia, October 7, 2014

Two Monarch Butterflies, Snellville, Georgia, October 7, 2014

The Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) must be migrating and making their way back to Mexico because there were two on our butterfly bushes yesterday.  One Monarch stayed all day long, and the other was on “lay-over,” only staying for a little while.  They both replenished their energy by drinking the nectar from the Buddleja butterfly bush flowers.

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly, Snellville, Georgia, October 7, 2014

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly, Snellville, Georgia, October 7, 2014

Also getting re-energized at the Buddleja bush was a Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly (Limenitis arthemis).  I had seen this butterfly (I will assume that it is the same one) a few days ago, but when I went to get my camera and returned to take some pictures, it was already gone.  So, I was delighted to see it again and take my opportunity to photograph it.

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly at Rest, Snellville, Georgia, October 7, 2014

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly at Rest, Snellville, Georgia, October 7, 2014

There were also several Skippers, Sulphurs, and Fritillaries flying about yesterday, as well.  While they were too quick for me to get any pictures of them, it was great to get some photos of the Monarchs and Purple.  It was definitely The Festival of the Butterflies here yesterday! 🙂

 

Tiger and Skippers (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Silver-Spotted Skipper, Snellville, Georgia, August 13, 2014

Silver-Spotted Skipper, Snellville, Georgia, August 13, 2014

Probably the greatest number of butterflies that I have observed during the entire summer, I have seen in the past couple of days.  There are Tiger Swallowtails, Female Black Form Tiger Swallowtails, Silver-Spotted Skippers, and Orange Skippers flying about.  They all enjoy drinking the nectar from the many garden flowers in our yard.

Tiger Swallowtail, Snellville, Georgia, August 12, 2014

Tiger Swallowtail, Snellville, Georgia, August 12, 2014

While trying not to become dinner for the prevalent mosquito population, I snapped only a few pictures of the Tiger Swallowtail and two Silver-Spotted Skippers.  At one point while photographing the Tiger, there were three mosquitos on my legs, so I only got a couple of good photos of the butterfly.  Enjoy!

“The Abundant Skippers” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Fiery Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Fiery Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

In the past week, Middle Georgia has seen mostly sunny weather, bringing about an abundance of Skipper butterflies.  The most of any type of butterfly that I have observed in my area all summer are the Skippers. 

Fiery Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Fiery Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

On the butterfly bushes and flowers, the Fiery Skippers (Hylephila phyleus), Clouded Skippers (Lerema accius), and Silver-spotted Skippers (Epargyreus clarus) are enjoying as much nectar from the flowers as they can take in. 

Clouded Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Clouded Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Previously, I had not posted any photos of Skippers on this blog because the butterflies are small and are a challenge to get into focus on my camera.  Indeed, I have taken many more photos that are blurry and unclear than those that are worthy of publishing. 

Clouded Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Clouded Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Indeed, it has been enjoyable to view and observe the Skippers flittering about.  They are generally dainty and cute butterflies.  They mostly have the flowers to themselves this summer, but for sharing them with bumblebees and the very few honeybees that are around if one is lucky to spot them. 

Silver-spotted Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Silver-spotted Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Keep your eyes open for these quick orange and/or brown butterflies the next time you are outside near your flowers.  They are so small that they are easy to miss.  Just look for the small orange or brown butterflies that are about the diameter of a dime, and you’ll see them!

Silver-spotted Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

Silver-spotted Skipper, Georgia, July 2013

The Silver-spotted Skippers are larger than the other two types, about the diameter of a quarter.  However, they are also fast-fliers and are easy to miss unless you look carefully.