Winter in the Butterfly Garden

Although most of the plants in my butterfly garden are finished blooming for the winter, some of flowering plants continued to bloom in late December and early January.

The milkweed is blooming and attracting Monarch butterflies. Because Hurricane Irma destroyed my butterfly garden in 2017 there were no butterflies or caterpillars last winter. I replanted the garden in the spring of 2018 and in December, 2018 I was thrilled to find monarchs and caterpillars on the milkweed once again.

20190101-Welcome-New-Year-(10)
Monarch on milkweed in January
20181224-Caterpillars-(4)
Monarch Caterpillar

Two days later, this caterpillar had changed into a chrysalis.

20181226-Chrysalis-(12)
Monarch Chrysalis December 24, 2018

I checked on the chrysalis every day. A week later, on New Year’s Eve, it was starting to change.

20181231-Garden-(1)
Week old monarch chrysalis after rain December 31, 2018

I continued checking on it daily and I could see subtle changes each day. Just when I knew it wouldn’t be long before a butterfly emerged, I found it lying on the ground the morning of January 5. We did some research on the internet to find out if there was anything we could do to save it. We tied it to a branch with piece of thread and let it hang in a jar. It’s been over a week since then and still there is no change.

20190105-chrysallis-(6)
We rescued the Chrysalis after it fell on the ground on January 5, 2019

I wish there had been a happier ending to this post. I’m sad to say that our butterfly didn’t make it.

 

Reflections

When I was a lot younger I was too busy to notice a lot of the little details that occur in nature. I discovered later in life that if I slow down and look around me I can enjoy the beauty of something as simple as trees or birds reflected in still water.

20120108Fanning-Springs-and-Otter-Springs-(12)
Otter Springs, FL
Lake Bistineau
Lake Bistineau, LA
Foggy morning on West Point Lake
Foggy morning on West Point Lake, GA
20130105Little-Ocmulgee-(15)
Little Ocmulgee State Park, GA
20180221Silver-Springs-Glass-Bottom-Boat-(57)
An unusual looking palm tree in the Silver River
20091128-3Sunset-Isle-(60)
Yellow Crowned Night Heron, FL

Inspired by Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday photo prompt – Reflections

Bald Eagles of Alaska

Five years ago we were wandering around Alaska in our RV. As we traveled I was always on the lookout for wildlife and we saw plenty of it.

Along with the many land and sea animals, I enjoyed seeing the birds. The Bald Eagles were my favorite and there were more Bald Eagles than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. We saw them perched in trees, soaring overhead, and even in a nest in front of the Homer Post office.  The most unusual sighting was seeing one fly right beside the truck as we drove along the Homer Spit. I was so busy watching him keep up with us that I didn’t get a chance to take his picture!

He was looking at me
Bald Eagle on Ninilchik Beach
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
20130621Day-37Fjordland-to-Juneau-(177)
Bald Eagle in the Lynn Canal between Haines and Juneau
20130621Day-37Scale-Eagle
Bald Eagle in tree beside Eldred Rock Lighthouse in the Lynn Canal
Mama and Baby Eagles across from Homer Post Office
Mama and Baby Eagles in Homer
Eagle soaring over bluff at Russian Orthadox Church
Eagle soaring over bluff at Russian Orthadox Church in Ninilchik
Pair of Eagles
We spotted this pair of Bald Eagles as we cruised by on a wildlife and glacier cruise from Valdez

Inspired by Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday photo prompt – birds

Late Summer in the Garden

Most of the flower beds around our house are planted with drought tolerant plants that can survive the summer heat here in coastal Georgia. On the summers we take off on an RV trip I don’t have to worry too much about these established plants back home.

When we are home for the summer, I like to plant a butterfly garden. This year I added new milkweed, a butterfly bush, zinnias, black eyed susans, purple coneflower, and Mexican Sunflower to attract the hummingbirds and butterflies. With all these blooms I enjoy having cut flowers from the garden.

20180709Flowers-(6)
Black Eyed Susans
20180714Tomatoes-(8)
Cut Flowers from the garden

In addition to my flowers I had a small crop of basil, jalapeño peppers and cherry tomatoes. The peppers are still producing but the tomatoes and basil are gone.

20180714Tomatoes-(4)
Bounty from my little garden

Earlier in the summer we weren’t getting very many butterflies but lately the Gulf Fritillarys and Swallowtails have been visiting the garden regularly.

20180727Fritillary-(1)
Gulf Fritillary on Mexican Sunflower
20180717Swallowtail-(23)
Swallowtail

Inspired by Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday photo prompt – garden

June in the Butterfly Garden

My butterfly garden is full of colorful blooms and the butterflies are starting to take notice.

20180620Butterfly-(11)
Butterfly on Mexican Sunflower
20180605Garden-(3)
Monarch on Milkweed
20180607Garden-(2)
Zinnias
20180620Butterfly-(16)
Mexican Sunflower
20180619Creek-(2)
Purple Coneflower
20180619Creek-(1)
Black Eyed Susan

The birds continue to come by daily.

20180604Bunting-in-rocks-(9)
Male Painted Bunting
20180603Garden-(17)-Tufted-Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse
20180613Garden-(3)
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
20180612Cardinal-(7)
The cardinals search for dropped seeds on the ground beneath the bird feeder

Happy Summer!

Linked to Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday – Flowers