Butterfly Gardening and Conservation Blog

April 17, 2005

First Monarch 2005

Sunday April 17, I saw a Monarch flying around and laying eggs. This is the earliest I've even seen one in my garden! Unfortunately the milkweed plants have not grow very much yet, they are only barely coming up out of the ground. She laid a bunch of eggs anyway though, several to a plant that was just barely there even.

It's early, but did she lay so many on plants that can't possibly support that many caterpillars because she couldn't find any other milkweed growing near by? (Since most people tend to have their yards filled with non-native grasses and other non-native plants?) Or was it simply that it is just too early?

I also saw a Tiger Swallowtail fly through the yard. I think it is the earliest I've seen one of these too.

I'm guessing these early (for my anyway) sightings are due to it being warmer and drier here than what it has been for the last 2-3 years (at least).

Posted by butterflygirl at 05:54 PM

April 16, 2005

First Black Swallowtail 2005

On Saturday I opened up the back door and saw a dark colored butterfly that I thought may have been a swallowtail. I wasn't able to see it close enough to say for certain.

But later, I went and checked my parsley plants - and guess what? There were Black Swallowtail eggs there!

She only laid eggs on the plants in front of out house though, that gets morning light. I have some more plants in the back, but couldn't find any eggs on those. It seems that last year the Black Swallowtails seemed to like the plants in front of the house better too.

Posted by butterflygirl at 05:45 PM

April 15, 2005

First American Lady 2005

I've already been bad about not updating this blog this year! I'm even having to write some back entries for butterfly sightings from a few days ago!

Anyway, on Friday, April 15, I saw an American Lady butterfly flying around my garden and laying eggs! Only the second year I've even seen this species in my garden! And I don't even have as many host plants for it this year. Apparently a couple of the plants I was growing for it are biennials and didn't come back up this year. And my pussytoes (which I don't have a page up for yet) are not growing as well this year. But she didn't seem to care and laid some eggs anyway.

I need to check and how many flights Vanessa virginiensis has each year in this area. I wonder if I will have any more laying eggs or not this year? Last year I only noticed eggs and caterpillars once, early in the spring then too.

Posted by butterflygirl at 05:40 PM