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.
Mexican Sunflower in December
Hibiscus in December
Sunflower under bird feeder in 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.
Two days later, this caterpillar had changed into a chrysalis.
I checked on the chrysalis every day. A week later, on New Year’s Eve, it was starting to change.
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.
I wish there had been a happier ending to this post. I’m sad to say that our butterfly didn’t make it.
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.
Inspired by Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday photo prompt – Reflections
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!
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.
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.
Earlier in the summer we weren’t getting very many butterflies but lately the Gulf Fritillarys and Swallowtails have been visiting the garden regularly.