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.

 

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

This week in my Butterfly Garden

I’ve been digging in the dirt a lot lately trying to get my butterfly garden in shape after flooding from Hurricane Irma killed most of the plants last fall.

A few of the new plants are starting to bloom. The zinnias I planted from seed this winter are bursting with color.

20180512Garden-(4)
Zinnia
20180512Garden-(1)
Zinnias

The new milkweed plants attracted their first Monarch of the season this week.

20180518Monarch-Butterfly-(5)
First Monarch sighting of 2018

The hummingbirds and Painted Buntings have been stopping by the feeders.

20180506Painted-Bunting-(33)
Painted Bunting

This lizard was trying to drink the hummingbird nectar.

20180518Lizard-(22)
Lizard looking for a snack on one of my hummingbird feeders

Happy spring!

December Caterpillars in Coastal Georgia

I’ve been so busy lately with Thanksgiving, cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew, and getting ready for Christmas I haven’t had much time to look at my butterfly garden.

With all our Christmas packages and cards in the mail, I could finally catch my breath this morning so I went out to our porch to enjoy my second cup of tea. As soon as I sat down I saw a Monarch butterfly flitting around our milkweed. I abandoned my tea, grabbed my camera and rushed downstairs to get a picture. The butterfly took off but when I began to examine the milkweed I was excited to find several caterpillars munching away on the leaves.

Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed - December 15, 2016
Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed – December 15, 2016
Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed - December 15, 2016
Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed – December 15, 2016