Butterflies Galore

Sandwiched between two drizzly mornings, we got a peak at the sun yesterday afternoon.

Jack's piano teacher lives a block away from a lovely park and walking path, and I usually try to walk while he is in a lesson. I didn't make it far down the path this time because I was mesmerized by all the butterflies! There were hundreds feeding on the flowers along the walking path, and as I walked they would flutter up and over and all around. At times it was like walking through an arbor of butterflies over the trail. Magical. And difficult to be grumpy with a butterfly floating by.


Despite the numbers of butterflies, I had difficulty getting more than two at a time in a photo!


I first noticed the increased number of butterflies on the flowers outside the grocery store and then read that there is a larger than normal population of painted lady butterflies migrating southwest (and I thought monarchs were the only migrating butterflies!). Now I notice them everywhere. Maybe not in large numbers like on the path yesterday, but floating past about everywhere when I'm out and about.

After looking them up in my butterfly books (I have this one and this one - children's books are often my favorite references), I had to go back to my photos to make sure I saw painted lady butterflies and not American lady butterflies. The painted lady has 4 or 5 eyespots on the lower wing, and the American lady has only two. Had to zoom in to see the spots! Will be on the lookout next year for an American lady.


All the butterflies reminded me how much I need butterflies in my life! We've raised butterflies from caterpillars many times but stopped as the kids have gotten older. One can never be too old to enjoy raising butterflies, so I'm putting it on my to do list for next spring (I don't like to raise them in winter because you can't release the butterflies - and I've always gotten caterpillars from Insect Lore and had great success - we've also done the ladybugs and ants).

Not only do I want to raise butterflies again, but I want to be proactive in attracting them to our yard. The renovation is going to force some landscaping changes, so it will be a good time to do just that. Fortunately I have all winter to contemplate what I want to do!