This week’s photo challenge comes from guest host Rusha Sams of Oh, The Places we See… We are asked to show images that represent a Labor of Love.
Planting my butterfly garden and maintaining it is a labor of love for me. By planting seeds and plants that attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees I am providing a place for them to feast on the nectar. At the same time I have a space in my backyard to relax and enjoy nature.
Here’s a few of the late summer critters that visited the garden recently. You can click on a picture to enlarge it.
Monarchs, Gulf Fritillaries, and Skipper butterflies have been all over the zinnias and Mexican Sunflower drinking up the nectar. Wasps, bees, and even a tiny grasshopper enjoyed the flowers, too.
It’s been a long, hot, dry summer and hopefully the flowers will continue to attract the butterflies and other critters for a little while longer.
I smile whenever I see these beautiful visitors to the garden. What made you smile this week?
This week, Patti has challenged us to bring attention to the subject in our photo by filling the frame with that subject. I chose a selection of photos from this year’s butterfly garden.
Zinnia in the butterfly garden
Mexican sunflower in the butterfly garden
Although several varieties of butterflies visited the garden this summer, the Monarchs have been few and far between until today. Early this morning, there were about eight different Monarchs feasting on the flowers.
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.