2 Southern Texas Danaus Butterflies (Actually 3) & An Israeli Danaus

Queen butterfly (Full dorsal) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TXMonarch Butterflies Coupled photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TXPlain Tiger butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Mishmarot, Israel

This Queen butterfly was photographed at the ‘Wall’ in Mission Texas. She was nectaring at a famous, much visited perennial garden set at the entrance wall to a popular development of homes.

The image of a pair of coupled Monarch butterflies (he easily seen here) was taken in the perennial gardens of the National Butterfly Center, also in Mission, Texas.

Both are Danaus butterflies, both relying on native milkweed plants as their hostplants.

Here in Eatonton, Georgia we have Monarchs visiting daily, to nectar on our natives and Mexican Sunflower, and to deposit their eggs on our several species of milkweed.

A visit from a Queen, here in central Georgia, is possible, but unlikely.

The 3rd image is a Danaus butterfly, the Plain Tiger, halfway around the world, in Mishmarot, Israel. A male I think.

Danaus butterflies have much in common, and then again, vary much.

Jeff

Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson And . . . The Garden I Said Goodbye To In ’12

Winged Beauty Butterflies

Jeff Zablow's Perennial Beds Pittsburgh, PA, 7/10/07

I have read this often, and attempt to emulate it in my own life, whether gardening to attract winged beauties, or with family and friends, in my spiritual life, and in the field, as I attempt to capture ever more beautiful images of butterflies, darners, wildflowers, whatever . . . .

Success

To laugh often and to love much . . .
To win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affections of children . . . To earn
the approbation of honest critics and to
endure the betrayal of false friends , , ,
To appreciate beauty; to give of one’s self . . .
To leave the world a bit better whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch, or
a redeemed social condition . . .
To laugh and play with enthusiasm and to sing with
exultation and to know that one life
has breathed easier because…

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Cardinal Flower by the Hour

Cardinal Flower, photographed by Jeff Zablow in his Perennial Garden, Pittsburgh, PA

The red was lipstick red, and you could see it from 100 feet away. My 7 Cardinal flower plants were grouped together, inside the iron fence, just 8 feet from the sidewalk. In full sun from morning to sundown, they should have been a bit miffed, but I watered them in daily, and these moisture loving perennials showed their appreciation, by growing to more than 6 feet in height. They produced dozens and dozens and dozens of those fantastic blooms, as if in appreciation for my thoughtfulness.

Blooming for many weeks, they put our front perennial garden on the map. Map? Whose map? The internal map of the Ruby Throated hummingbirds in the East End of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They zoomed in every hour on the hour, straight to these red nectar pumps. (the flowers, that is) Methodically, bloom to bloom, leaving when someone come walking past, on the other side of the fence. They return moments later.

Our menu presented the hummingbirds with variety: False dragonhead, Salvias, Crocosmia, giant Zinnias and others for the pleasure of sipping nectar. I did not attempt to photograph the ruby throateds, content as I am with the photographic output of Virgina, Chuck, Marcie and others.

Spring will return and bring in the third season for my cardinal flowers. Where and how did I acquire them? From a fantastic native plant nursery, right here in Pittsburgh, just ½ mile from  my Beechwood Boulevard home! Sylvan Natives, where I found my American plum trees, Pagoda dogwoods, American hornbeams, Chokecherries, Tulip tree, Sennas and couple of others. Save for the deer and woodchucks, I’d be able to report 100% success . . .

Oh, and nary a single butterfly seen at the Cardinal flower.

Jeff

Traffic Picked Up in the Perennial Garden Today

Hackberry Emperor Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.com

The sun came out today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Traffic picked up in my perennial garden, so much so that there was double and triple parking going on on popular flower hot spots.

Who showed? Red Admirals came and went, sometimes in pairs. They make you feel so acutely sharp, their beaming red bands enabling split second identification. They stopped and sip nectar on  the anise hyssop blooms, our giant zinnias and on the purple and white coneflowers.

Great Spangled Fritillaries also found parking spaces, especially on the common milkweed, called Liatris (white), coneflowers (purple) and briefly on the magnificent ‘ice’ hydrangeas (Thanks to Joe Ambrogio Sr. for suggesting them).

Cabbage white butterflies flew in throughout the day, seemingly males, barely stopping for a sip of any nectar here or there.

Trimming spent giant zinnia blooms rousted a Striped Hairstreak, either from its perch, or from a nectar interlude.

Silver Spotted Skippers showed off their jet propulsion potential, jetting to the milkweed, coneflowers, hydrangea and surely more. Tinier Skippers, no doubt.

Did not spend the day sitting and observing, so I know that additional others have come by, and hopefully, among them Monarchs. When they come, they’ll not find blazingstar blossoms (a huge favorite of theirs in late summer) because . . . well, groundhogs love blazing star leaves and stems, I now know.

Soon to open and bloom? Mexican sunflower (TY VcL), native cardinal flower (Sylvania Natives, Pittsburgh), false dragonhead (Sylvania Natives), monkeyflower (SNatives), chocolate mint, swamp milkweed (TY BAC) and I hope, I hope, this year clethra.

Am preparing to put in 5 sennas, purchased 2 days ago at sylvania natives, to attract yellow/orange butterflies.

The show has begun here, Folks.

Jeff

Daylilies

Daylilies photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

We’ve watched these daylilies at Raccoon Creek State Park for more than a decade. They are planted strategically around the circa 1880’s (?) farmhouse in the Park. Those flower buds appear, enlarge and then anticipation. Day after day they signal soon, soon, soon. Then one day, boom! the first ones open, here and there.

Bombus pennsylvanicus (American bumblebees) love them, visiting regularly. Ruby throateds come too. Butterflies? Tiger swallowtails await these blooms, and nectar on them, as do Great spangled fritillaries and occasional others.

Yes, they were planted by people. But they’ve been there for more than a decade, perhaps much more than that. They stand witness to lots of stuff going on in the Park maybe the passing through of a rare Ursus americanus, or the silent prowl of a bobcat, the night howls of coyotes, and also, to the extraordinary animal that I saw one day in the Wildflower Reserve or the long-tailed cat (perhaps 40-50 pounds in weight) that I once saw on the Wetland Trail, not too far away.

We’ll be putting in our perrenial garden in October, and daylilies are on my List.

Jeff