Friday, December 4, 2009

Butterflies and Aster 'Miss Bessie'

There were butterflies and diurnal moths galore on 'Miss Bessie' when she was at her peak in early November.

Ailanthus webworm moth and skipper

Virginia ctenuchid moth

Common checkered skipper

Pearly crescent

Variegated Fritillary

One of the last Monarchs to pass through.



  1. You rule on the bee & butterfly photos Sweet Bay. That fourth photo of the moth is incredible ~ you can see "feathers" on the antennae! I don't know how you do it but keep it up! They are a pleasure to see.

  2. Sweetbay, you take the most beautiful photos... I can't get over the clarity and detail of the closeups.

  3. I am glad the Buckeyes learned to get along. There seem to be more than enough to share.

  4. Wonderful to see all that sun and color from nearly a month ago... We've had two hard frosts and it's actually gotten quite bitter, after a pretty warm fall overall. It's grey and bleak and the cats are complaining... they think I control outside temperatures, apparently!

  5. SweetBay,
    That first checkered skipper is marked differently than usual, good find. Enjoyed the Monarch and Variegated Fritillaries the most in this series.

    had enough rain yet?

  6. Hi Sweetbay, what warmth is radiated from these lovely photos! Seeing bright flowers and butterflies certainly is good for the soul on this snowy cold day.


  7. Dear Sweet Bay,
    The aster is a wonderful late season flower. Much needed food for so many butterflies and bees.
    The Buckeyes are my husband's favorite.Your photographs of them are beautiful!
    All my blooms are over for this year. The wheel is turning. Snow is forcasted. For me these are bird days. I already miss the bugs!
    Happy December. We will have a Blue Moon on the 31st!

  8. I feel like I was watching the last dance of the butterflies for the season. Lovely.

    I also really like that you know the names of each of them. This is something I want to get started on here in my region.

  9. Your insect macros are excellent, as always. Love the buckeye and the monarch shots. They really seem to love the asters.

  10. Hello SweetBay,

    I cannot believe how many bees, moths and butterflies that your asters attract! I need to see if I can grow some....they are so beautiful.

  11. Miss Bessie sure is popular. You get so many different butterflies there. It looks like it was a nice sunny and warm day you had back in November.

  12. So lovely to see so much purple and the light playing with the butterflies, as I look out on our white wonderland. What a treat. Your Miss Bessie is a great bloomer. Beautiful photos ... I love the soft focus on the background in the second... and the last is stellar but really they are all just astounding.

  13. Beautiful pictures, my asters were covered in honeybees, but unfortunately I didn't see any butterflies. I have one that is similar to your Miss Bessie, I wonder if that's what it is?

  14. There must be an isect for each and every flower on your Aster!! Must be a glorious sight. and your picture of that 'virginian..moth' was a really good shot, I enjoyed it very much :)

  15. Sweetbay, your pictures are always wonderful. Am in awe of the collection of winged friends you find! Just beautiful.

  16. Sweet Bay, you did it again - posted wonderful, fantastic pictures! You are a talented photographer! Thank you so much.

  17. Sweet Bay, you always have the most fantastic photos of insects! There seems to have been no shortage of butterflies in your garden this year. I planted more native asters this fall, so I hope they attract as many butterflies as Miss Bessie has.

  18. So many beautiful shots! The asters are very showy especially in that marvelous light. I love the buckeyes.

  19. Hi Sweet Bay!
    I love your photos of butterflies!
    I don't think I have seen these kinds in Sweden.
    Have a nice week!/

  20. Thank you for your comments and kind words everyone!

    Kathleen and Di the insects are so intent on feeding they usually don't pay attention to me and my camera, except for the Sulfurs -- they're elusive! I have a 18-55 lens and try to get as close as possible. I go through a lot of pictures too. lol

    Les yes, there was definitely plenty for all! I'm glad they settled so that I could photograph them. Buckeyes have been very scarce here this year. We didn't have Toadflax or Gerardia this year, unfortunately. We usually have large amounts of Gerardia blooming in Sept/Oct and I only saw 2 plants this year.

    Monica, after a beautiful fall we're getting our share of crappy weather lately. Like your cats, my horses seem to think that I should be able to do *something* about the weather.

    Thanks Randy, I did not know that. It's a beautiful little butterfly. We have had a lot of rain. And yet, when I was planting bulbs today, some of the earth was actually dry a couple of inches down.

    Thank you Frances!

    Thank you Sherry, I agree, this aster and Groundsel Trees seem to be the best sustenance for the insects very late in the season. I love the Buckeyes too, especially with the lavender in the eyespots.

    The Garden Ms S, yes, it was indeed the last dance of the butterflies! :) Randy has been very helpful with IDs; I really need to get the book he recommended. I have the Audubon Guide, which is good but leaves a lot out.

    Thank you Janie. The butterflies do love this aster.

    Noelle, Willow-Leaved Aster grows well all the way down to Florida, and Miss Bessie was found in the Deep South. Not Arizona, but it can take heat. It does like moisture though. Being an aster it is drought tolerant, but I've noticed at my place that it actually creeps down into the ditches.

    Catherine we were lucky to have a very lovely fall this year. Miss Bessie is indeed very popular!

    Thank you very much Carol. I'm looking forward to seeing your snowy pictures.

    Rebecca the flowers on your aster look just like Miss Bessie, but I'll send you a link with a picture of the leaves.

    Thank you Mia, it did seem as though almost every flower was occupied, and it truly was a glorious sight!

    Thank you Janet,Rose, and AnnA! The butterflies have been plentiful this year overall and it's been a delight having them in the garden.

    Tatyana thank you, that means a lot coming from you. Your photography is so beautiful.

    Carol there is nothing like that warm autumn light! It really does add beauty to the garden and landscape.

    Thank you again for your comments. They warm my heart!

  21. What an absolute delight to my senses!You captured them so beautifully!I'm left with a feeling of Joy in viewing these images! Thank you Sweetbay.

  22. Hi Sweetbay

    You can't be accused of not knowing your stuff.

    I've only recently come to appreciate the 'movement' that butterflies and moths can bring to a garden.

    That Aster plays a last hurrah!

    Your photography is top notch as always.


  23. How did I miss this wonderful post! Where was I...Sweetbay, your photos are so GOOD...Are you experiencing the howling winds and dropping temps yet? gail

  24. Lovely photos of lovely butterflies. They are unknown for me, but so beautiful. Thanks for showing! =)

  25. It seems that Miss Bessie is quite popular with winged creatures! And with all these butterflies fluttering your garden, it must have been really wonderful to watch them.

    And thanks for noting their names. Now, I know how they are called... and in case I forget, I coudl always come back here to look :)

    By the way, I love your Virginia Ctenuchid Moth and Monarch Butterfly shots!

  26. Miss Bessie sure is attractive to a wide variety of butterflies and moths. What a pretty color she is. Your photos are wonderful!! It's great to see so many varieties in one post to compare them.
    It's hard to do posts in December with everything else that needs to be done, isn't it? Hope you're enjoying the pre-Christmas season!
    We've had wintery weather here!

  27. Lots and lots of beautiful visitors!
    Amazing!Have a nice week!

  28. Thank you Naturegirl and Rob! :)

    Gail, something must be up with comment moderation; your comment just came through today! Thank you for your kind comments. No gales, just gray and brown and mush... ah well, we had a wonderful six weeks in October and November. I really can't complain, not with the cruel weather that others are getting.

    Thank you HelenJ, Lareine, Kerri and Lillibeth, for your comments! It's good to hear from you!

  29. Busy with the holidays? Miss your posts.


  30. Hi Donna,

    Yes, very busy lately. Christmas is such a madhat time of year. :)


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