Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Settling in for the night, butterfly fashion

While walking through the south garden after this evening's downpour, I saw two butterflies that looked as if they were searching for places to roost.

The first butterfly, a Gulf Fritillary, fluttered around the Wendy's Wish Salvia.  Eventually, it landed on one specific spot. Perhaps it spent the night there.  I don't know for sure because while watching the Fritillary, I was distracted by another winged beauty that flew by.  

A Great White Southern Butterfly landed on a pink rain lily wet with raindrops. I followed to see what it would do.

Although the Southern White stayed on the rain lily for a while, it kept readjusting its position. Eventually, it moved on, touching down on several leaves before settling at last on an ice plant leaf.

Like all butterflies, Gulf Fritillaries and Great White Southerns fly during daytime and rest at night. For roosts, they seek out perches on the underside of leaves, between blades of grass or in the narrow spaces between rocks.

Although I don't often think about where butterflies sleep or where they go during inclement weather, I appreciated the reminder of our interconnection with nature.  People are not alone in seeking out secure shelters.  Even butterflies need a safe place to rest.


  1. I am wondering about your ice plant. I have some here that look very much like it, they have a very spiky small red flower that never actually 'opens' into petals. But when I googled ice plant, I don't see the one you show, so maybe yours is not like mine at all.

    Ours have a very fleshy leaf and stem, with variegated colors of greens, creams and pinks throughout the stems and leaves. I call it a hummingbird plant, as the hummers love it so much. It also is super drought tolerant. Any idea if it is the same plant? I've always wanted to know its 'real' name!

    1. Last year I wrote about the ice plant in my garden. It's called Dorotheanthus bellidiformis. Here's a link to the column with pictures and more information about it.