Yesterday morning, before getting to work on my large backlog of “things to do”, I decided I would fix my coffee and sit on the front porch and enjoy it while watching nature around me at my rural Missouri home. This was especially nice since our temperatures have really cooled off overnight, with expected highs to only be in the upper 70’s to 80F for the next couple of days. After pouring the coffee, I went to the front porch and sat down on the steps. Within a couple of minutes, I was both surprised and pleased to see lots of beautiful butterflies “swarming” my new butterfly garden that I put in last year and continued to add more attracting plants this year.
There were several species of butterflies busy sipping nectar, but the one that caught my attention was the several Viceroys. There have been quite a few Viceroys flying around my large, rural yard. Coincidentally, at my late wife’s Celebration of Life, I arranged for the release of 100 butterflies at the end of the service; 98 of those were Monarchs (which look very similar to the Viceroys featured in this post)! So, seeing Viceroys put a warm feeling in my heart.
Well, after seeing the Viceroys so busy in the new garden, I went inside and grabbed my camera and started capturing some images of the beauties at work. As it ended up, my “short time to enjoy the outside” lasted a lot longer than I had intended! And I didn’t get as much accomplished yesterday as I should have. But I still consider it a very worthwhile activity. Here are a few images I captured yesterday morning:
One even landed on a Pokeweed growing at the edge of the butterfly garden:
And when not in the garden itself, they sometimes would land in a small, sunset maple planted just off to the side of the garden:
My next step is to plant some Milkweed in the garden. I have a single butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), but I need to put in another couple of varieties. When I planted the garden last fall, I could not find much milkweed plants available. And this spring I stopped by a wildflower nursery, but the plants were too small to sale. But an upcoming plant sale should yield some milkweed plants for this garden. Since my wife dearly loved butterflies, I will get some milkweed planted very soon and will welcome these beauties again, next summer.
In another post, I’ll share some images of several other species of butterflies that are currently active in this garden.
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 7D Mark 2 body
- Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
- Handheld, with IS “On”
- ISO 400
- Aperture f/5.6
- Shutter 1/500 sec. to 1/2,000 sec.