I finally found some butterflies!

We were out at my father-in-law’s farm last weekend and both my husband and I thought we had our first glimpse this year of a Monarch.  I did think it looked a little small, and after looking more closely I could clearly see the black line crossing the hindwing that shows this butterfly is a Viceroy.  The Viceroy butterfly is a mimic of the Monarch–the Monarch is not very tasty and birds who have tried it will steer clear of the Viceroy also.







This brown butterfly with the two large spots was so difficult for me to id.  I really do need to get a good butterfly field guide.  I’m pretty sure this is a Common Wood Nymph.




I love Skippers.  My experience has been that they are quite tolerant of having their picture taken.  The above butterfly is a Silver-Spotted Skipper.


I also took a long walk along the river last weekend.  There is a little wetland area near a parking lot–I believe it is actually a drainage bowl–where there are tons of cattails and wildflowers blooming right now.  There were tons of bees and butterflies.  I caught pictures of these two butterflies:


3456cabbagewhitebutterflyfb    3340cabbagewhitebutterflyfb


They looked like two different butterflies to me, but I actually think they might both be Cabbage White butterflies.  I think the color variation is an effect of the light they were in.  The one on the left looks quite a bit more green, but it is probably picking up a color cast from the leaf.  What do all you butterfly experts out there think?  Am I correct?

I saw so many bees in this same little area.  I love to try to catch them in flight–it take lots of patience and a huge dose of luck.  In these pictures, you can see the pollen baskets on the hind legs of the bee–it’s a little sac into which the bee collects the pollen:






There was also this little guy, who was covered from head to toe with pollen:




I didn’t see many birds on my weekend outings, and only photographed a Cedar Waxwing.  There was an adult feeding a fledgling in a tree and I was able to grab a few quick photos.  The lighting is not great, but I think these are beautiful birds.




There are so many wildflowers blooming right now.  We often spend much of August in N. Carolina, but this year we are staying home.  I’m really enjoying seeing all the flowers out right now.  I thought this Queen Anne’s Lace bud looked so beautiful:




As did these purple flowers along the river:




All in all, it was a lovely weekend.  So happy I finally found some butterflies!



This entry was posted in Butterflies, Flowers, Insects, Waxwings. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Finally!

  1. I am glad you finally saw butterflies and I hope you can see some Monarchs soon.

    You are probably right about the Cabbage White. My children get a quarter for every one they catch. They are introduced (accidentally, I believe) and cause great damage to any veggie in the cabbage family. There are some very similar native Whites, but I am not as familiar with those.

    I think your bottom flowers might be Blue Vervain, a native. We have Hoary Vervain here with a similar flower, but have short leaves and grow in dryer conditions. I just learned about these flowers, so it is fresh in my mind. Birds are starting to be interesting again with migration starting, so… bugs and plants will again take a back seat for a while. 🙂

    • Thanks for the id on the Blue Vervain. I really need to start learning some more names of the flowers. The last year has been all about learning the names of birds!

      • Part of me learning the plants is so I can keep the natives around and get rid of the weeds. I was so upset when I learned I had been pulling up a native thinking it was just a weed.

        I belong to a good forum that focuses on native plants and animals. If you are interested in the link, just email me. I like their opinion on natives, they are never invasive, but either aggressive or enthusiastic. 🙂

  2. John Blair says:

    Carol – you are spot on with the Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala). And yes, the two white butterflies are both Cabbage Whites (Pieris rapae). A fun fact is you can tell male from female by the number of black spots on the front side of the upper wings. The females have two and the males have one. The other poster is correct about the purple flowers along the river. Blue Vervain is a wonderful native plant and you got a really nice photo of it 🙂

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