Coming in to land on New England Aster flowers – the number of Monarch butterflies have been reduced this year – apparently because of weather problems in central Mexico where they over-winter and then prolonged and cold winds from the north in spring that made sure many never made it back north of the Great Lakes. Some got here though and now the return migration has begun.
A gathering – no social distancing here – of immature Oncopeltus fasciatus – Large Milkweed Bugs. Quite an impressive collection – the orange sttod out from a distance and I at first thught I was seeing an unusual flower until I got closer.
This may be the species that gave me a lot of grief a few weeks ago when I inadvertently disturbed a nest – but today they (there were a lot around) couldn’t care less about my presence as they worked the golden rod flowers. Treat with caution, but tbey are very attractive.
The ubiquitous wooly bear caterpillars – those furry brown creatures with a black head and tail – eventually turn into gorgeous brown moths like this fellow crawling around in the grass recently. Smart red legs.
As you can tell form the name, this attractive butterfly did not evolve on this continent. In fact they appeared first about ten years ago at Mirabel Airport a half hour’s drive north of Montreal (so presumably hitched a ride) and seem to like it hereabouts, First seen our garden three or four years ago and caused much confusion until we found about the above as it doesn’t “quite” match any of the small, blue natives. Doesn’t seem to be causing any trouble.