A garden is the best alternative therapy.

Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly

The garden plants have been quite thirsty the past couple of weeks, requiring me to water them frequently and deeply.  The raised beds drain very well, almost too well, allowing the soil to dry out quickly.   Even the native beds, which are stocked with mostly drought tolerant plants have appreciated the extra soaking with temperatures finally reaching the hundred degree mark for the first time this summer.  Thankfully, the really hot weather held out until the last month of summer when those cooler days of fall are almost in sight again.   I am very excited to see how the garden will look as we move into fall.  The copper canyon daisies and fall aster have been sitting dormant while the rest of the plants are busy flowering away.  Most should continue flowering through the fall, and I expect a better show than this spring now that they have had time to grow deep roots and grow a lot larger.

Laying eggs on fennel flower

Nectaring on Prairie Moss Verbena

Of course, I can’t be in the garden any length of time before I’m distracted by a butterfly that has floated in to say hello.  I continue to see a lot of black swallowtails, pearl crescent, bordered patch, yellow sulphur, and fritillaries.   After working for awhile, I stepped inside to get a glass of water and returned to the back door to see the largest tiger swallowtail I have ever seen flitting about the verbena.  It was seriously as big as my hand, but as soon as I snuck outside with my camera, she was off on the breeze … the one that got away!

Oh, but she was beautiful!

Not wanting to disappoint, the gulf fritillaries spent quite a bit of time in the garden, chasing one another around.   An eastern black swallowtail stopped for most of the day to lay eggs on the fennel.  She was pretty small and I didn’t see her deposit any eggs, but she was really trying!  She’d wear herself out and then just hang there trying to regain composure, then she’d flit around and go back to laying.  Sometimes she would stop for a brief drink on the verbena or lantana.  I enjoyed her company most of the day, while the gulf fritillaries played over and through the fence.

Gulf Fritillary on spearmint flower

Gulf Fritillary on trailing lantana

Gulf Fritillary

What a beautiful pattern on the underside of her wings

Taking flight

Later in the afternoon, I had a visit from a variegated fritillary.  She finally came to rest in the shade of spearmint stems under a Texas Lilac tree, allowing me to capture a few shots.

Variegated Fritillary on spearmint stem

Variegated Fritillary

Variegated Fritilarry nectaring on Prairie Moss Verbena

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Comments on: "Ain’t Seen Enough Butterfly Pics Yet?" (9)

  1. I was just saying this morning that I haven’t seen as many butterflies as I usually do this time of year. I guess they are all visiting your garden. I love your photos and I bet your garden is really filling in beautifully!

  2. roundrockgarden said:

    My milkweed brings all the butterflies to the yard … 🙂

    Thank you for the compliment on the photos, Amy!

  3. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing them!

  4. Lovely photos–lovely butterflies! You must have lots of patience to get such wonderful pictures. I don’t know about you, but September is always the hardest month for me…for some reason, I always feel September should be cool and feel like Fall, but of course it never does until October.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Just luck, I guess! I do have to stand there awhile sometimes. In this heat, I was dripping sweat trying to take these!

  5. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing them

  6. No- can’t get enough of your butterfly pics, just want to gaze and gaze at such God-given beauty. Great shots but my how stunning are the frittilary patterns.

    Laura

    • roundrockgarden said:

      I’ll keep ’em coming, then! ; )

      The Gulf Fritillary is my daughter’s new favorite!

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