Friday, May 14, 2010

Admiring the Admirals

I was also going to call this post: Six Excuses for Not Mowing the Lawn. For reasons which will become obvious.

On Wednesday there were at least six red admiral butterflies on my lawn--erm, the patch of dandelions, violets, clover, wild strawberry, and grass that passes as my lawn. Six! The butterflies were feasting on the dandelion nectar, I guess. I spent some time admiring the admirals.

This is my best shot. Apparently red admirals are one of the earliest butterflies to appear in Ontario each year.


Can you see the six butterflies below? (Click on the photo to see it larger). Scroll down for the answer.


I've circled the butterflies I was sure of. Did you get the same ones? (click to make it larger)


And if you really want more, I also made a movie, which you can see at YouTube here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYQQRLQttuQ

Unfortunately these butterflies have not reappeared since Wednesday. Maybe that's because the weather has been dull and rainy and the dandelions are mostly closed up. Maybe they've just moved on. What a priviledge to watch these insects for awhile.

More info and some great professional quality shots of eggs, larva, and chrysalis here (select "Life Histories" and then "Red Admiral":
http://www.porchlight.ca/~richard/

2 comments:

Peni R. Griffin said...

If you have wild strawberries in your yard, you don't need an excuse not to mow - you have a reason!

I still remember how disappointed we were when we rented our house in Iowa when I was 6. Mom had noticed strawberries in back of the garage, but the kid who mowed the yard mowed before we moved in mowed the strawberries, too, and they never came back. Do not mow. Ever ever ever. If your neighbors complain call it "wildscaping" and offer to share the strawberries.

Lizann Flatt said...

They never came back? That's sad for sure.

Ours are the tiny ones and they survive anything. The birds love them. If I can get to them before the birds, the kids and I pick them. They're about the size of my baby fingernail but boy are they tasty.