Thursday, October 15, 2009

Butterfly Invasion!

My yard has been invaded by butterflies!! Seriously. I have never seen anything like it. Queen butterflies (Danaus gilippus) are literally taking over my yard. Not 5, not 10, not 50, but hundreds!! It is crazy! Walk along my side yard where I have a bunch of Greggs Blue Mistflower and a hundred butterflies swarm you, dancing about like fairies in some kind of wonderland. I have to duck, half expecting to be doused in butterfly-fairy dust. They are carpeting the mistflower, the butterfly bush, the salvias, the rock rose, and even the trees.

You have to look close, but there are about a 50 butterflies in this pic. They are on the flowers, in the grass, in the trees, in the air, and at least another 50 dancing around and above my head as I took this photo:



Closer:



And on the Snow on the Mountain:



Then as the sun began to wane, the butterflies began to collect on the trees in giant clumps:

First a few on the orchid tree on various branches here and there:



A few more in the pomegranate:



Then they began to commune on the Texas Oak tree:



And more came to join the party:



Soon the branches were coated with Queen butterflies:



Apparently they have decided to stay for a bit and are going to sleep in the trees in my backyard. It appears I will be playing host to the butterflies for a while. I should probably put out a bowl of wet sand for them to puddle in tomorrow as I wouldn't want to be a bad hostess.

9 comments:

Cheryl said...

What gorgeous shots...did you see the article in the statesman yesterday about the influx? Supercool...this is a most delicious fall after the horrid, horrid summer!

Caroline said...

That is the coolest thing I've ever seen!

vertie said...

Amazing! The Statesman has an article on another type of butterfly invasion: http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/2009/10/16/1016butterflies.html

sweet bay said...

Amazing!! It must be so wondrous to have that many butterflies in one place. I bet they're happy they found your garden on their way to Mexico.

Bonnie said...

Happy to see it. I had heard they were avoiding our area in their migration because of the drought, but it seems not. I'll look out in my garden tomorrow.

Lancashire rose said...

Wow, you do have a lot. I have never seen so many in one place. They love your garden.

Annie in Austin said...

Wonderful,Lee17! Do you think the Queen butterflies came from elsewhere, attracted by your flowers or do you think they developed on the host plants in your garden? I've been thrilled to see 8 or 10 at once - can't imagine hundreds!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

Your butterflies are wonderful. Growing up in suburban lawnscape, I hardly saw butterflies. So even when there are half a dozen in my garden I'm fascinated. I feel sorry for suburban children who think the absence of butterflies is normal. If only they could grow up in gardens like yours and be amazed.

Lee17 said...

Thanks all for the wonderful comments! The butterflies hung around for a couple days then moved along to find more food. I think they were attracted to the large swathes of Greggs mistflower in the garden. SO amazing. I feel lucky my garden could play host to them for a few days. :)