Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Magical Milkweed

Milkweeds are host plants for Monarch Butterflies, fritillaries, red admirals, swallowtails, hairstreaks and many other insects. The milkweed plant is essential for the survival of Monarch Butterflies, as it is the only plant material that the larvae can eat.

On our beautiful country property, clusters of milkweed (common and butterfly weed) have popped up along the roadside and in the open meadow areas. During the summer months, when strolling the acreage, I make sure to stop by each plant a few times a day in hope of viewing some interesting activity.
 
A striking Spicebush Swallowtail samples the flowers of a vibrant Butterfly Weed plant


Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars munch and lunch at the Common Milkweed Cafe


A closer look at the shaggy Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars from the leaf underside


The bright orange flowers of this Butterfly Weed plant attracts a tiny American Copper Butterfly


The coloring of this woolly Unexpected Cycnia blends in well with the golden flowers


Triple orange delight! Lovely Pearl Crescent Butterflies flutter about on the appropriately named Butterfly Weed plant


One of many Monarch Caterpillars I have observed inching up the thick stalks of milkweed plants


A stunning adult Monarch Butterfly feeds on nectar from a Common Milkweed plant


A Red Milkweed Beetle explores the topside of a Common Milkweed leaf


This pretty Orange Holomelina Moth perched on a milkweed leaf looks as if it has plump blueberries for eyes

19 comments:

forestal said...

wonderful series, you captured quite a lot of small life.

dan

Sharon M said...

Very awesome!

Beverly said...

All fabulous!!!

Kerry said...

Nice Kerri first one looks like a painting.

capturethesoul said...

Julie...these are absolutely stunning photos!The colors are rich and beautiful and each composition so thoughtful~your photography is delightful!

dAwN said...

Awesomeness!!!

JRandSue said...

Outstanding collection of outstanding photography.
John.

PoetessWug said...

Your photography is stunningly beautiful!

Elijah Goodwin said...

Wow! Great post Julie. I especially love the catepillar shots. Just superb! Well done!

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Excellent post, those munching crunching Tussock Caterpillars cracked me up! Great shot and set.

Kerri said...

Oh my Julie .... you've done it again! FABULOUS post my friend!!

BirdGalAlcatraz said...

Julie, these are among your most beautiful images. Thank you so much for sharing!

dreamfalcon said...

these photos are just aaaaw-some. Thanks for sharing this caterpillar and butterfly beauties!

robins-chaos said...

Fantastic insect shots, LOVE LOVE the Tussock moth cat.s eating the leaf edge. Tack sharp shots, great color and light, fab. composition. And, I adore the banner shot of Her Highness The Hosta Eater.

Kenny said...

Love them all!

Julie G. said...

I am so very grateful for all of your kind words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your thoughtful comments inspire me to spend more time outdoors seeking all the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer.

The Early Birder said...

A super series Julie. The 2nd image is priceless. Interesting to see that we share some similar species, e.g. Copper.
Have a good week, FAB.

PoetessWug said...

BTW, Because of all of the joy your blog gives me, I'm giving you an "I ♥ Your Blog" award! Come and get your button! :-)

http://poetesswug-thewugsbackyardblogspot.blogspot.com/

Sarah Knight said...

Wow! Those are stunning!