Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jewels re-fueling for a long trip....

What are the chances of seeing this many butterflies in October in the Sandhills? It sure was a blessing!

The majority of the butterflies preferred the purple asters over the pink ones, but I wondered if it weren't because the purple ones were in the sunshine. Here is a monarch enjoying the sweet nectar before its long journey to Mexico.

These are swallowtail caterpillars eating curly parsley. There weren't any swallowtail butterflies around, however. Hopefully, we'll see these beauties next spring when they go through metamorphosis from a pupae to an  elegant butterfly. They're the black ones that have some blue checkerboards at the edges of their wings. 

This is a good example of a checkerboard around the outside of their wings. This butterfly reminds me of a blond brownie, with chocolate chips on it? Its name is Euptoieta claudia, Variegated Fritillary checker. 

If you live in the midwest, you've probably seen these from the time you were a little kid; sipping from flower top to flower top. This is called a clouded sulphur butterfly. If you look real close, you can see that this specimen has not just green eyes, but LIME green eyes. Contrasts nicely with the deep purple!

Here's another caterpillar munching away on the tasty, feathery, asters. It is a Northern Pine Sphinx - Lapara bombycoides. Bet you were thinking that very specie! 

Here we have a Grey Hairstreak and Clouded Sulphur. The Grey Hairstreak is really a small little butterfly, only about the size of an adult thumb nail. Perhaps a tad bigger. 

This Pink-spotted Hawk Moth, Agrius cingulata, is something I've only seen in the dusk of the evening enjoying Angel Trumpet flowers. I've heard them called Humming Bird Moths before due to the rapid beat of their wings. This photo was taken about 4:30 p.m. and it's eating from Impatients.

What an amazing afternoon spent with our beautiful, flying, jewels! These were identified using the following Web sites:

The leaves are turning... the air is crisp and there's so much to do in the Sandhills! Make sure you book a trip!!!
 It will allow you to re-fuel for the winter ahead.