Monday, May 17, 2010

Beautiful Wings

Red Admiral on Bleeding Heart

The weather last year was cool and wet and butterflies were scarce in our area. The Monarchs in our garden did not eclose until October and by then it seemed impossible that they could journey to Mexico due to autumn storms and cold weather. We went to Monterey, California at the end of October expecting to see wintering Monarchs in the pine groves near the coast, but they were few and far between there as well.

Red Admiral on Forget-me-nots

I have seen more butterflies in the past week than I saw all of last summer. Dozens of Red Admirals and Mourning Cloak butterflies have been in our yard along with several smaller species. I haven't seen any Monarchs yet but we have not pulled out the Milkweed plants which have popped up in the side garden. Mom, who is now recovering at home after last week's surgery, was telling me that she is seeing fewer butterflies in her part of Mexico, perhaps due to agricultural pesticides.

Weather variations do have an influence, but butterflies and other insects do reflect the general health of our environment along with amphibians and other small creatures. Herbicide and pesticide use on lawns is now outlawed here, and while dandelions and other weeds are taking over parks and yards, these insects may benefit from the change. Chemicals are still widely used in agriculture and on golf courses locally and around the world.

I do hope these early butterflies are indicators of a good year ahead for all beautiful wings.


  1. Three great pictures, Ruth.

  2. Stunningly gorgeous photos, Ruth! I absolutely LOVE flowers and butterflies! We used to have some really gorgeous ones in Malaysia, with the Rajah Brooke being the holy grail of butterfly collections back then.

  3. These are gorgeous Ruth. I'm glad you're seeing so many butterflies this spring and do hope the Monarchs make it. Nice to hear your Mom is home.

  4. Hello, Ruth. I hope that your mother is doing well--and taking the rest time to -- both figuratively and literally -- smell the flowers. (And, of course, I'm sure you're helping her to do just that.)

    You make monarchs look so lovely. It's always nice to see pictures of butterflies, because in real life, beautiful though they may be, they are truly elusive!

    Kind regards,
    :) Aletheia

  5. The Butterflies are beautiful.I sure you get lots of them this summer,and could you please send a few my way?:)

  6. I've not seen very many here yet this year. Your photos are so beautiful Ruth. :c)

  7. Precious butterflies - another one of God's lovely creations! Those are very beautiful pictures. I have seen more butterflies for this time of year as well. Happy to hear your Mom is recovery well.


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