Monday, January 30, 2012

Flower Hill Farm BUTTERFLIES OF 2011 ~ Favorite Buckeye

I was lucky to get so close to this fresh and perfect  Common Buckeye as it sipped nectar from, of all plants, a hydrangea.

Buckeye Junonia coenia

It was a joyous June day this past summer when I captured my first ever Buckeye! 
These beauties do not overwinter here but fly south as our beloved Monarchs. I have read that they hold their own in comparison to the Monarchs in extravaganza, as they stream through Cape May in the Autumn. I have yet to see that fabulous display!

Host plants for the caterpillars are numerous. Be sure to let some plantain grow! They love stonecrop too . . .  of the Crassulaceae family. Got figwort or vervain?! Be sure to share your mallow and verbena. Then you might find these stunning eyes looking back at you in your garden. 

I love doing reviews of birds and butterflies in the winter, for it brings spring and summer back into our lives. 
 Each winter day is growing longer by minutes. I enjoy seeing the sun as it inches more towards the north . . .  nearly climbing over Walnut Hill now every morning, where it had been rising over the Mount Holyoke Range  on the winter solstice.   

We are having a mild winter here in New England. Eastern Black Swallowtails might be sleeping in their chrysalises somewhere out in that white landscape. The birds have not been very active in the crabapples yet . . . I do miss all the colorful Robins, Cedar and Bohemian Waxwings and even the Bluebirds are not as numerous as in previous years. There must be plenty of food for them all elsewhere. I do delight in seeing our resident Red-tailed hawk most mornings as he or she basks in the sun.
Up next for the butterfly reviews will be the American Painted Lady.

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