Sunday, April 29, 2012


     Only one more day left in April and that beautiful male american goldfinch is still here!  I do wonder why he hasn't headed home, yet.  He seems healthy and he flits around the yard like he's really happy to be here.  Every morning, I wonder if I'll see him "today".
     Well, earlier, I posted a photo of the fritillary butterfly laying eggs on my passion vine.

     LOOK AT IT NOW!!!

     But, I grow this passion vine just for the fritillary butterflies and caterpillars.  I've been feeding and watering the vine, so it will fill out again and the butterflies will start laying eggs again.  Later on, they will slow down and the vine will have a chance to have lush foliage and beautiful purple flowers.  And, the flowers smell sooo good!
     In the first photo, I can count five caterpillars.  Since the foliage is almost totally gone, they will stop eating and travel to find a place to weave their cocoons. 
     There are several bright orange fritillary butterflies in my yard, right now.  Some are larger and some are smaller.  My observation, through the years, has been that the eggs that were layed and hatched first and had lots to eat are the larger caterpillars/butterflies.  The smaller caterpillars/butterflies had less to eat because the foliage was already consumed by the first hatched.  But, when the foliage/food is all gone, they must stop eating and start their amazing transformation, becoming a butterfly.
     Also, I have observed that the butterflies that are flying really, really fast seemed to have just come out of their cocoons and are stretching and exercising their wings and, just don't know what to do, yet.  The older butterflies are flying slower and more deliberately to the flowers and around the yard.  
     No matter, large or small, they are just so beautiful fluttering around my yard amidst all the green, purples, pinks and other bright colors.  I really love watching them!  I don't know why He made them, but I'm very thankful for the butterflies!

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