Tag: Butterflies

Larval food plants for great spangled fritillary and common buckeye butterflies

A great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele) and a common buckeye (Junonia coenia) were seen in my garden in the fall of 2017. September 22 for the great spangled fritillary. October 19 for the common buckeye.   October 19 was also a day when clusters…

Home-grown monarchs and milkweed

Home-grown monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). In 2015, a monarch visited my garden on September 18. In 2016, monarchs passed through on September 13 and September 20. Last summer, in 2017, monarchs were present in my garden pretty regularly from September 13 to October 28….

Persephone months

Eliot Coleman calls the period of time when days are less than 10 hours long from sunrise to sunset the Persephone months. In his Maine winter garden, this is when vegetables under cover will be available for harvest, although they do not grow. The…

Ladies’ day out in my garden

Painted ladies (Vanessa cardui), that is. Painted ladies are sometimes referred to as cosmopolitans because their range is nearly worldwide. They are not resident in New Jersey, but they often migrate to this region from the deserts of northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest….

Wild Senna and Sulphur caterpillars

Wild senna (Senna hebecarpa). Something has been eating my wild senna (Senna hebecarpa) plant. Above are photos of the same wild senna first taken on October 7, when its compound, even-pinnate leaves with 10-20 leaflets (this description from the NRCS Plant Fact Sheet) were…

Black swallowtail caterpillars on dill and fennel

Black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). A black swallowtail caterpillar was discovered on a dill plant on September 13, as seen above. A black swallowtail caterpillar was discovered on a fennel plant on September 14, as seen above. The dill and fennel plants were about 10…

What are monarch butterflies doing in my garden

Monarch (Danaus plexippus). What are monarch butterflies doing in my garden. No, I don’t mean what right do they have to be in my garden. I mean, literally, what is it that they are doing. We all know monarchs are migratory. Adult monarchs from…

Great spangled fritillary: new butterfly in garden

Great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele). Just look at this great spangled fritillary, the first I’ve seen in my garden. Wow. NABA-North Jersey Butterfly Club website reports that females emerge later than males and are usually larger and darker. Great spangled fritillaries average 3 inches,…

Common blue violets–wildflowers or weeds

Common blue violets (Viola papilionacea) are wildflowers or weeds, depending on your perspective. In the introduction to William Robinson’s┬áThe Wild Garden, Expanded Edition, Rick Darke distinguishes wildflowers from weeds by writing that wildflowers are usually perceived as pretty and innocuous. Wildflowers do no harm…

Planning for butterflies

Planning for butterflies. It’s never too early to start thinking about the next growing season in the garden. Last summer, enough butterflies visited my garden to get me started thinking of ways to attract more. More butterflies of each species as well as more…