Red Hot Poker and Butterfly Weed

I have been trying to attract butterflies to the garden and give them some habitat to survive, since much of their habitat has been destroyed.  This time of year I start looking for caterpillars and butterflies.  I like to put a lot of bright colored flowers in the garden to draw the butterflies in.

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Red hot pokers flowers, butterfly weed, and Russian sage.  I like orange in the garden!  When I sit at my desk by the window I look out at this.

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Pollinator on butterfly weed.  I have two large stands of this plant in the yard.  Today I was standing on the patio when I saw a monarch butterfly on our butterfly weed right by the patio.  I tried to stay still in case it wanted to deposit some eggs, but it flew away.  That is the first monarch I have seen in two years.  I hope it comes back!

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Shasta daisies.  I got rid of almost all the Shasta daisies I had in my garden, but left a couple just because they are cheery.

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Coreopsis ‘moonbeam’ with blue hill salvia.

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‘Incrediball’ hydrangea.

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We took a walk this morning starting out from the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center in the forest preserve.  Up ahead is Long John Slough, a little lake where we stopped to watch a variety of wildlife.

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As we stood at the shore we saw something that at first we thought was a beaver.  Then we thought is was an otter.  We finally realized that it was a muskrat.  There was a muskrat couple busy working this morning.  This one is swimming with a bunch of grass in its mouth back to the other muskrat.  We could not see the den, or whatever a muskrat home is called.  The water lilies were beautiful today.  In any case it was a gorgeous day to stand on the shore and watch the activity.

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Toadstools in the forest.

We forgot our bug spray in the car and the horse flies and mosquitoes started chasing us at this point!

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Unidentified butterfly.  The picture is a bit fuzzy, but I included it because it did not look familiar.  I was not sure how to identify this butterfly with its wings closed…

The zinnias are starting to bloom in the yard, so that should start bringing the butterflies in.

6 thoughts on “Red Hot Poker and Butterfly Weed

  1. Beautiful picture of the toadstool and I love the red hot poker. I bought two small plants which still need to get into the ground. Maybe I’ll have blooms of my own next year!

  2. Just found your blog and I love all your pictures. Thanks for putting in the time to make such a wonderful site. So enjoyable to read.

  3. Thanks for visiting my Waltzing Australia blog — because it led me here. Great blog — and not far from where I live, by the looks of it. You have identified for me a number of flowers and insects I didn’t know. Great blog.

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