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!
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.