Monday, May 26, 2014

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.”
- Candace Bushnell

(Just a gentle, persuasive reminder... please?)


  • Eggs: 3 - 8 days incubation.
  • Caterpillars: 9 - 16 days as cats. (Except for the California Dog Face butterfly. HA! That's silly.)
  • Caterpillars go through 5 instar stages.
  • Chrysalises: 8 - 15 days as chrysalises.
  • Adults: Live for about 2 - 6 weeks during active season. Overwintering adults live longer.

Different butterfly species have different life cycle times.

All three Monarch cats are gone; hopefully crawled off to chrysalissize (made up word. verb: to make, create, or turn into a chrysalis.)

I finally spotted my first Monarch butterflies of the season today. Must be a swarm of them migrating back north passing through my neighborhood. These are a few of them I captured with my camera phone. It's amazing what good photos these little contraptions produce.

Other species observed:

California Dog Face Butterfly, Zerene eurydice

I also spotted these two unidentified butterflies. I'll let you know what they are when I get a positive I.D. on them.

These two I find particularly attractive and beautiful. Instinct tells me they are migrating back to Redmond, Washington.

One particularly gaudy looking specimen.

A dear blog follower from Laguna Beach, California snapped this photo of an elusive butterfly flitting about the Irvine Bowl/ Laguna Theater village area. A delicate, petite, and lovely creature! If anyone can identify it, please share that info with the rest of us. Its gossamer wings are quite fetching:

Grace and elegance.

An interesting observation: all of them seem to be females. The absence of males is baffling to me. My guess is they could be congregating in certain sections of Laguna Beach, North Hollywood, and areas in and around San Francisco.

Since we are on the subject of Monarch butterflies, here is a milkweed that produces drop dead flowers, and can take average to moist garden soil:

Butterfly Encounters was an excellent source for various milkweed seed species. Unfortunately, the owner is shutting down his site in order to focus more attention to his family, which is a very good thing.

If interested in purchasing Asclepias incarnata "Cinderella" milkweed plants, check out these online sources: Cinderella milkweed. Makes for good cut flowers. There are several other varieties of Asclepias incarnata, or Swamp Milkweed available also. "Ice Ballet" is a very popular white variety. All varieties of Swamp Milkweed are good candidates for Monarch butterfly host plants with their abundant leaf output supporting caterpillars, and its profusion of attractive to both people and butterfly blooms.

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