Friday, May 29, 2015

So many butterflies!

I've been taking lots of pictures of butterflies now that the weather is warm and butterflies are out in full force.

The optimum body temperature for these cold-blooded creatures to fly is between 82 °-102° Fahrenheit.  It certainly has been that warm lately and butterflies are responding by fluttering from one bloom to another.

As much as I don't like the sticky, pointy seeds of Bidens alba, aptly named Spanish needle, butterflies sure do.  Below are four pictures of a common buckeye butterfly sipping nectar from Bidens alba flowers.

A Red-banded Hairstreak also likes visiting the Bidens alba plant.

I'm glad I saw this Great Southern White butterfly before my husband did.  He doesn't like them because they lay their eggs on plants in the Brassicaceae family such as broccoli, cabbage and Asian greens plants.  The eggs turn into caterpillars that devour the leaves of the plants Ralph works so hard to grow.  To him they are nothing more than a pest but I appreciate their beauty and hate to see them destroyed.

Great Southern White on tropical milkweed

A Checkered White butterfly looks similar to the Great Southern White

This American Lady butterfly looks especially pretty perched on the cheerful bloom of a bush sunflower.

The bush sunflowers attracted many flutterers including this Tiger Swallowtail

And of course the Gulf Fritillary butterfly is out in full force. I'm not sure which I see more of  - the Gulf Fritillary or the Zebra Longwing - but both are regulars here at our tucked away homestead.

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