Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 24, 2012

New Visitors

My butterfly bushes have been just humming with activity lately.  I mean that both figuratively and literally.  In the literal sense, the local hummingbirds and hummingbird moths have been getting their fill of nectar.  Figuratively, it is rare that I go out to the deck and not find something happily buzzing its way through the blossoms.  When I sit outside and read, I find myself distracted by the 5 or 6 little painted lady butterflies that have been making regular appearances.  I’m ashamed to admit I don’t have at least one picture of them, since I feel sure that I took some.  Oh, wait a second.  As I sit here and type, I am remembering that I changed memory cards recently, and that it is entirely possible that I never loaded the last few shots from the old memory card on to the computer.  Could it be?  Hang on a minute while I check it out, if you wouldn’t mind too much…

Eureka!
Painted Lady butterfly 1

A few days ago, I saw a butterfly I’d never seen on the bushes:
brown butterfly2

I’m having trouble identifying this one.  It doesn’t seem to quite match any of the butterflies I’ve found on various butterfly ID sites.  It has those blue markings like the swallowtails do, but it is not as dark or as large as the pipevine swallowtails I’ve seen in the past.  Here’s an upside-down pose that gives you a look at the underside of the wings:

brown butterfly1

Anybody with an idea about its secret identity?  While I went about taking multiple shots of my mystery butterfly, I found myself charmed by the misty look the light took on when the bushes were backlit by the late afternoon sun:
misty light butterfly

Today my abundant bushes were lucky to receive another newbie.  This one I was able to identify due to its very large size, certainly the largest butterfly I’ve seen outside of a butterfly conservatory, a giant swallowtail:

Giant Swallowtail3

I hope that the size of the blooms of a butterfly bush are known well enough to you to be able to conceive of the size of this butterfly. I was astounded to see these wings flopping around my deck.

Giant Swallowtail2

I’d say its wingspan was easily 6 inches. Here’s a look at the other side of the wings:
Giant Swallowtail1

I’ve definitely been enjoying these backyard visitors this summer.  Need some interesting winged creatures in your backyard?  Plant a butterfly bush!  And if you can help me identify my mystery butterfly, please let me know in the comments.