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.

July 30, 2012

As Summer Wears On

Hard to believe it is nearly August.  Summer is passing too quickly!  A friend posted this on Facebook recently and I couldn’t agree more:

Four weeks from today I will be back in school, so I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy every moment.  Here are some moments I’ve recently enjoyed:

IMG_8616

We celebrated my younger daughter’s 15th birthday with family and friends.  Her actual birthday is this Thursday, so I can’t help thinking about how 15 years ago at this time I was so huge and uncomfortable.  It was a nasty hot summer – kind of like how it has been around here recently – and nothing I did seemed to feel better.  15 years ago!  Wow!

Then:

And now:

Sarah1

We got some much needed rain this past weekend – unfortunately during Sarah’s birthday party.  I think the absolute heaviest was exactly when my husband was cooking at the grill:

Police department issued rain gear came in really handy!  Photo credit to Meghan and her iPod – she was more on the ball that I was.

In the quiet moments between shopping and cleaning and otherwise preparing for the party, the butterfly bushes provided more photography opportunities.  A couple of yellow tiger swallowtails have been happily cavorting:

yellow swallowtail 1

yellow swallowtail 2

yellow swallowtail 3

I found this species very interesting too:
Butterfly Bush collie

I think its Latin name is “collius buddlejollius”  😉 (okay who remembers that obscure reference from an earlier post?)

July has been pretty full of good summer fun – check my archives if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to – and August has plenty more to offer.  Meghan is going to have her senior portraits taken next week (YIKES!  I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my older daughter will be a senior in high school in 4 weeks!  How the heck did that happen?) and our family vacation to Maine comes up in less than 2 weeks.  And don’t forget – the “Ends of the Earth” photo hunt is in August too.