While I sat on our back steps shucking corn, I watched butterflies, bees, and moths feed on the nectar of our purple asters yesterday afternoon. On one cluster of Aster Amellus I spotted six Monarchs, 5 American Lady Butterflies, 4 Bumble Bees, 3 Honey Bees, 2 White Cabbage Moths and one Hoverfly (camouflaged to look like a bee with black and yellow stripes). At the insect dinner party, all the winged guests would drink deeply then switch to a new flower. In the musical blooms, I saw a pecking order that surprised me. Although the butterflies are larger, they wisely yield to the bees.
The Monarchs are refueling on their way to Mexico. There they will spend the winter until it is time to head north again. Last fall, I wrote an e-say™ about their travels, called Butterfly Rest Stop. They are miraculous creatures; delicate yet strong enough to fly on a month’s journey south.
I’ve read that Monarch butterfly populations are increasing in number once more. I’m happy to say I’ve seen 14 in our neighborhood and back yard in the last hour. I’m not the only insect observer in our household. Recently our 10-year-old budding naturalist asked to use my phone camera in the garden. See the photos below credited to “Eagle” for the results. As I finish this post, I’m watching the dance of the orange winged, black and white spotted flutterbys; furry bees; and pesky jitterbugging white cabbage moths feasting on flowers. Welcome winged wonders.
Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! ¡Olé! –Rebecca
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