I just had to go with this shot for today's blip, even though it isn't as sharp as I might like. The story is one I want to remember. These two females emerged yesterday, rather late in the day, so I kept them in their enclosure overnight. Once the sun started to warm things up, I took the enclosure out and let them hang out for a while. Eventually, I took first one, then the other on my finger and we walked over to my new garden where each was placed on a buddleia flower. In less than five minutes both had gracefully lifted into the air.
So when two females (presumably the same two) showed up a short while later on my other buddleia to gather nectar, I was surprised and delighted. Both girls have been feeding for several hours, although I expect they will soon be on their way. These two girls are in memory of two aunts, Su's Aunt Ivy and Lynn's Aunt Eleanor. Travel safely, girls...
I also had a rather beat up, but still lovely Gray Hairstreak in the garden, as well as a late-season male ruby-throated hummie. Haven't seen an adult male in well over a week, so this guy is definitely a little behind the other boys in heading south. He wasn't being very cooperative for photos, although I did get one decent shot of him perched, which you can see HERE on Flickr
Things are progressing in the Monarch Nursery with another arrival today and many more in various phases from 1st to 5th instars and probably 40 chrysalids. Please continue sending me the names of people who's memoriy you'd like to honor with a monarch release!
Hubs and I are headed over to our neighbor's house later for a traditional Labor Day barbeque - should be lots of fun and a nice way to close out our anniversary weekend.
The connection between the souls of the dead and butterflies goes back thousands of years when many ancient people, including the Aztecs, believed that butterflies carried the souls of departed loved ones who had returned for a visit. It is in that spirit that I have set a goal to release each of my monarchs in someone's memory this year. By my reckoning, I have roughly 40 more "unclaimed" butterflies to be released so if there is someone you want me to remember, just leave me a comment or send me an email.