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.


iris said...

très joli mosaique avec les papillons
je suis toujours en admiration devant vos photos
chez nous en Normandie ( France ) il neige
je viens de passer par une petite dépression
je vous souhaite de tout coeur un prompt
bonne soirée

bicocacolors said...

simply magnificent these butterflies!!

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I don't think I've ever seen a buckeye but I really love the markings on them. Great photos, Carol! Stay warm, my friend.

Randy Emmitt said...


Enjoyed the posting... These guys can be difficult to get close to. What I enjoy about them most is you can find a dozen of them and nearly everyone has something different about it from the others.

sweetbay said...

Gorgeous shots of the Buckeyes on that lovely Hydrangea! I think the Buckeye may be our most beautiful butterfly. I didn't realize that they were a migratory species. I have seen big groups of them -- clouds -- feeding on grassy weeds in the pastures.

Andrea said...

Delightful photos, but I haven't seen buckeyes yet, maybe they are only in the temperate climes. Randy's comment made me realize that they are really exciting, just like sunsets which are like finger prints, each is its own. Your sun goes north, while ours goes south this time of year. My landmark is the church in my horizon. You said the black swallowtails are wintering in their chrysalis! Can the chrysalis stand that cold? Now i am thinking, what part of butterflies' life cycle are they in during winter? It is easier for them here in the tropics. I wonder why they stayed in the cold.

Anja said...

Kära Carol!
What a gorgeous pictures! You are a true virtuoso with your camera!
This summer I will try to take photos of butterflies too - witch is very difficult - as you know...:)!

It is very cold i Gothenburg right now and I don't like it.

Kram, Anja

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful butterflies, one of the picture also captures a bee in flight. The sky and snow scenes also tremendous.

Carol said...

Thank you Edith! I hope the buckeye gives you a bit of joy today. May the snow and sadness melt away very soon.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Carol:
the Buckeye and the bee, what a simply superb photograph of the two on the wing together!! The eyes on the Buckeye wings are most penetrating, they really do stare back at you. And, how interesting that they too have the wonderful migration flights to warmer climes as the Monarchs do. It must be an incredible sight.

It is so uplifting to see the days lengthening and thoughts of spring grow ever nearer. As you say, by revisiting your spring and summer photographs one can almsot believe that it is all just around the corner. Until, of course, one takes a look outside into that glorious snowy landscape!

Carol said...

Thank you bicocacolors!

Carol said...

Hi Kate! Thank you for visiting. This was my first time seeing one and it was a thrill for me. Today got up into the 50's!

Carol said...

Oh Randy, I would be overjoyed to see so many but the one and only one I have seen here was delightful. I am not surprised that they might be slightly different from one another as I see some variations in monarchs. This one let me get very close . . . it was so involved with the flowers.

Carol said...

Gasp!! Clouds! I would love to see that. Most likely they were migrating. I remember your beautiful photos of these gorgeous butterflies Sweetbay. I have been longing to see one. They are more rare up this way I think. Thank you for the compliment!

Carol said...

Thank you dear Andrea! I love the way you imagine sunsets like finger prints. So true each is totally unique! I so recall your church from your stunning sunset images. Yes, the swallowtail chrysalises are hopefully safe underneath some detritus . . . that is if the birds did not find them before the snow cover. I do not know how they can bear the cold. It is getting harder for me every year. Though this has been a very mild winter so far. You have many more butterflies there. I can go to a butterfly house nearby and see some that may come from your homeland.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

As someone who is constantly struggling to capture good butterfly photos, not made any easier by our treacherous terrain here, I'm very impressed with your Buckeye shots! I love the last one with the honey bee exiting the shot.

Carol said...

Thank you dear Anja! I wish I knew my camera better! I look forward to seeing your butterflies this summer. I am sorry to hear that you all are having a hard cold spell. I hope it leaves you soon. Kram Carol

Carol said...

Thank you so much Gillian! It was a bonus to get the honeybee.

Carol said...

Dear Jane and Lance, Thank you so for your thoughtful sharing and support. The bees and butterflies do get on pretty well . . . it can get pretty crowded at times. I love the buckeye stare . . . intensely beautiful and I hope someday to be able to see their migration. Yes, longer days and here quite mild for this time of year. It will not be long now . . .

Carol said...

Thank you dear Clare! I was lucky . . . I believe this was a very freshly emerged butterfly and it was thirsty. I was able to get very close. Cautiously I might add. I was happy to see the bee still within the frame of that last shot too.

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Carol I adore the butterfly...I have not seen them in my garden but who knows maybe this year!!

ruma said...

Dear, Carol.

  The butterfly's pattern is attracted to me.
  The green impression is very warm atmosphere.

  The coldest winter will be melted by your warm heart.
  The works gently accept all visitors.

  I praise your creative art sense.
  The prayer for all peace.
  Have a good weekend.
From Japan, ruma ❃

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