Chrysanthemums

16 10 2011

I believe this is a Chrysanthemum x grandiflorum ‘Hillside Pink Sheffield’ variety of garden mum. There wasn’t a label on the plants at Green Spring Gardens, but my research took me to Monrovia’s site and these flowers look much like the ones shown here. The blooms attracted a bounty of honeybees as well as many butterflies, including Fiery Skippers (Hylephila phyleus), Common Buckeyes (Junonia coenia), Cabbage Whites (Pieris rapae) and Monarchs (Danaus plexippus). I didn’t get too many shots of the insects due to both the windy conditions and their way-too-quick movement!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

30 07 2010

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens’ “Experimental Meadow” was full of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Spicebush Swallowtails (click here to see the incredible caterpillar that this particular butterfly morphs from), American Painted Lady Butterflies, Silver-spotted Skippers, and Cabbage White Butterflies today.

Mary Ellen—no sighting of Monarchs at this garden today, unfortunately. I have seen a few in my garden this summer. In 1999 Mary Ellen founded Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization and public charity. Happy Tonics also created the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, a few years ago. I met Mary Ellen when I purchased milkweed seed from her eBay store and we have collaborated on design and environmental projects ever since!

GREAT PHOTO TIP! Here’s a butterfly photography trick I learned from Mary Ellen a few years ago. Wait until the butterfly has it proboscis inserted into a flower and it becomes completely distracted by the task at hand—then move in closer, staying as still as possible.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Cabbage White Butterfly camouflage

6 05 2009

I saw these brilliant white flowers across from the gazebo at Green Spring Gardens and went over to photograph this nicely arranged cluster (first image). Then I noticed the Cabbage White Butterfly (Pieris rapae) on the bottom flower. I moved in to isolate him on the single flower and got the bottom shot. His wings sort of mimic the petals—perfect camouflage! Males only have one black dot on their wings, so this handsome butterfly is a male.

UPDATE: Thanks to Michaela from www.thedailyclick.wordpress.com for identifying the flower as “Star of Bethlehem” (Ornithogalum umbellatum). She gives credit to Ed Vatza at www.itsmynature.wordpress.com for the initial identification. Thanks to both Michaela and Ed!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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