Busy Drinking Butterfly Gone Wild


Coneflower on new wall garden in front (it's a volunteer from Katy's sidewalk).

Drinking makes you stupid. A good rule of life, but who knew it applied to butterflies and nectar?

A friend, a former student who goes by the nickname Mickey (due to her actual first name and the face that she does love Disney parks) posted a Facebook profile picture that shows a butterfly on a coneflower. In my most recent post about my gardens, I expressed some envy—I have shot mucho pics of coneflowers, but always sans butterfly.

Turns out if you can catch the bug on a coneflower, it may be so busy drinking it pays you no heed.

I like the blurry second flower in the background.

Ta-da! I was unable to catch this dude (or lady, with a butterfly, how do you tell?) with his/her wings open, at least not on the conflower, although as you will see below, a similar or the same creature posed more openly on a different flower, but the insect was obviously distracted enough by the sweet juice of the flower to be photographed many times.

I happened to catch this butterfly July 21, the same day that my wife and two of my sisters went to the Eastern Iowa Airport to see a B-17 on display there. Photos of that trip posted on Facebook (was a big camera day). Also shot photos of my wife’s mother’s 76th birthday, also posted on Facebook. And finally, a few of the flower photos (Mr. or Ms. B on a different flower, for example) were shot earlier that day.

None of these photos are cropped, by the way—they are presented as shot except for a bit of color correction. I like the shadow ones of the butterfly the best.

Anyway, this is another plant photo gallery blog entry, hope you enjoy the flower photos. If you have a clue about the mystery flower, please leave a comment.

July 25 Update: A lady Monarch showed up this morning.  She was not as cooperative–the bigger butterfly seemed skittish and quick, compared to this post’s darker drunken lout.  I’ll post her image below, many more on my Facebook page.

A dainty lady. I said in my blog "who knows" about butterfly gender, but with Monarchs, the males have a distinct dot on their hind wings. No dot on this girl. Slighty ragged wings, and I wish her well. She'll fly to Mexico in a few weeks, and I hope she comes back in 2011, but her front wings look a bit ragged.

What is it? New blooming flower near the back of my deck garden. It's about 2 feet tall on a single stalk--any ideas? If it's a weed, it's one that's welcome to stay.

The trumpet flower opens. One of two blooms, but there are a few more buds. According to what I've read, now I have to watch for and remove seeds before they spread ...

Hibiscus blooming in the retaining wall garden in back.

Rose in front wall garden. In case you wonder, yes, we'll get back to Mr. or Ms. B soon ...

Shadow, part 1

Shadow Part II

Just another photo, followed by a few more sans caption, followed by new coneflower, and finally, at the end, the butterfly gone wild.

Cate allowed me to take a few coneflowers from her garden. These pretty red ones have started to fade, so photo does not do it justice, but I'm happy to have a few completely different coneflowers for Mr. or Ms. B to pose on next year.

FINALLY: The butterfly gone wild. Don't know if it's the same one (this photo was shot a day before the coneflower photos) but the wings are partly open. This flower was not quite as distracting--the butterfly flew immediately after I snapped this photo.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Busy Drinking Butterfly Gone Wild

  1. crgardenjoe

    Butterflies on my mind! Been doing some research, probably will have to buy a butterfly guide. Anyway, from the open-wing photo, the “drunken lout” is apparently a “Red Admiral,” Vanessa atalanta, a common butterfly that hibernates rather than migrates like the Monarch. It was probably 2/3 to 1/2 the size of the Monarch.

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