November 4, 2016

Blue Skies And Butterflies

Cooler weather has restored my longing to be out and about in my garden.  Temperate mornings, often veiled with lovely fog, have enticed me outside earlier each day.  Whereas during summer, I could only see the work that needed to be done, now I see the beauty that surrounds me.  Several gardening friends have also expressed this feeling of renewed vigor with the waning of summer.  Our Florida skies have been intensely blue this week, providing a lovely backdrop for this ten foot Yellow Bells shrub.

'Climbing Iceberg' Rose

''Setsugekka', Sasanqua Camellia

Passion Vine was planted on the back fence of my vegetable garden early this spring, a gift from my daughter.  This vine is a favorite food for many butterflies, including the Zebra Longwing and Gulf Fritillary.

It still flowers on the bottom, but the top of the vine is being consumed by Gulf Fritillary caterpillars.  Not to worry, it covers 25 feet of fence.

 Many chrysalises hanging from this fence...

Many more, like this one have been vacated...

My gardens are alive with Gulf Fritillary butterflies, some nearing the end of their life cycle.

Perhaps, middle-aged...

The youngest are always the brightest orange, and never seem to stop for long.

Behind my veggie garden, Mexican Flame Vines are growing freely.  It's a mess, but birds and butterflies love it back there.

They have made it out front to enjoy Tithonia...

A Skipper and a Gulf Fritillary dining together.

Zebra Longwings are also still plentiful in the garden - feasting on Firebush and Bleeding Heart Vines. 

A Swallowtail visiting Pagoda Flower...

I hope you are all enjoying your gardens this season...happy gardening.



  1. What a treat to be able to enjoy all those butterflies and cats starting off in your garden. We are indeed relishing every cool morning and evening-and actually getting something done outside! Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Daisy! Perfect weather for accomplishing outside tasks now. I'm waiting for it to get a tad cooler before I move some plants around. Enjoy your garden.

  2. Hi Janice, A change in weather from summer to fall makes all the difference. I can hardly make myself go inside these days. It's wonderful! Your yellow bells shrub (sounds more like a small tree) is very pretty. I've never heard of that bush. Do the butterflies like it? We've had more Gulf Fritillary butterflies around lately, too. They are so bright and colorful! I must plant some Tithonia in my garden next year. I've heard others rave about this butterfly attractor. Enjoy these perfect days and the beautiful butterflies in your garden.

    1. Hi Susan. That plant goes by many names besides Yellow Bells - Yellow Elder, Yellow Trumpet Flower, and Esperanza. Further south it would be a tree, but the cold keeps it bitten back here. I don't think it is a big draw for butterflies. For sure, you can't go wrong with Tithonia. Have a great week!

  3. Oh, those blue skies really are gorgeous, Janice. These pictures are great! I'm so envious of all your healthy, green plants. It hasn't rained here since September and everything is in tatters!

    1. Leslie, we are fortunate that we live on a small lake that we can irrigate from. It has been terribly dry here too - no rain since the hurricane passed by. The wind is also helping to dry everything out. Hope you receive some rain soon.

  4. Hi Janice! I love your photos - they're just gorgeous! Happy you've got so many butterflies. I just about bought a Mexican Flame vine and now that I see yours, I'm going back for it! :) I'm happier for the cooler weather too. It just arrived here this week. In fact, tonight I have to put on a sweatshirt - Woohoo!