Butterflies on Zinnias

It rained over 5 inches in 24 hours earlier this week and now it is hot and humid.  The vegetables like that.  It is also a busy time for the butterflies.  From my desk I can look out the window at the zinnias and it is fun to watch the visitors.

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This looks like the eastern tiger swallowtail that I was taking pictures of a few weeks ago on the agastache.  Most of the butterflies are looking somewhat tattered now.

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The zinnias in back are one variety that are 3 – 4 feet tall.  The ones in front are 2 – 3 feet tall.  The goldfinches have removed the petals from many of the flowers.  If you looks closely you can see both the eastern tiger swallowtail and a silver spotted skipper in this picture.

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Silver spotter skipper on zinnia.

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Silver spotted skipper on yellow nasturtium.  Here you can see how furry the back and legs are…

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Goldfinch feeding on zinnia.  Sometimes more than one goldfinch is working away at these flowers.  I guess they are getting something nutritious here.

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Once while I was taking pictures of butterflies this goldfinch landed nearby and then spotted me.  He kept and eye on me for a while, trying to decide whether to fly away or get a snack.

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I have seen the monarchs in the garden off and on this week.  This one’s wing is ripped, but it still enjoys its feast.  Often I see the butterflies flap their wings to get rid of bees and flies that are buzzing around them on nearby flowers.  Under the zinnia you can see a soldier beetle.  They are everywhere in the garden now.

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This is a picture of a monarch butterfly that I took maybe a month ago on a coneflower.  You can see how fresh and delicate the wings were at that time.  Maybe it had just emerged that day…

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On Monday there were several monarch butterflies on the agastache.  Look at all the pollen on the body.  When we had the 5 inches of rain the agastache tipped over.  I am currently leaning it against several lawn chairs and trying to get it to stand up again.

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Carpenter bee and monarch butterfly on agastache ‘blue fortune’ – giant hyssop.

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I believe this is an orange sulphur butterfly.  It looks like the cabbage whites, but with the pretty yellow color.

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The summer solstice zinnias are just starting to bloom now and will bloom until frost.  They are tiny yellow and orange flowers that really attracted the butterflies in the past, so I planted them again along the east fence, which is a sunny afternoon spot.

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My brother was another welcome visitor to the garden this summer.  Behind us you see the zebra grass which is showy now.

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