The Butterfly Garden

At midday on the last Sunday in September 2015, there were still flowers blooming in The Butterfly Garden for the butterflies and the bees.

The flower beds are empty in the garden now. The monarch butterflies are making their way north. The activity was in the woods behind the garden. The bees found the small patch of Virginia bluebells before I did.

Movement on a tree near the bluebells turned out to be a brown creeper. He was the size of a nuthatch and traveled up the tree like one. He blended in well with the tree. His beak was curved. In a flash, he disappeared around the side of the tree. This was my first sighting of him. I might not see him again for a while. This is his winter range.

I heard a king fisher calling and walked to the edge of the cliff overlooking the lake. The king fisher was chased away by swallows before I could take his photograph. When I looked down, a cluster of delicate violet rue-anemone flowers looked back up at me.

September 27, 2015

A Monarch butterfly on a zinnia flower in The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, September 27, 2015.

A Monarch butterfly on a zinnia flower in The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, September 27, 2015.

A Monarch butterfly on a zinnia flower in The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, September 27, 2015.

A Monarch butterfly on a zinnia flower in The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, September 27, 2015.

A red admiral butterfly on a zinnia flower in The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, September 27, 2015.

A monarch butterfly and a red admiral butterfly in The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, September 27, 2015.

April 12, 2017

Virginia bluebells and bees in the woods behind The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, April 12, 2017.

A brown creeper on a tree in the woods behind The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, April 12, 2017.

A brown creeper on a tree in the woods behind The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, April 12, 2017.

Rue-anemone flowers in the woods behind The Butterfly Garden at Saylorville Lake, Iowa, April 12, 2017.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

 

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and runner
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13 Responses to The Butterfly Garden

  1. zirah1 says:

    Lovely pics and video. Amazing how well that creeper blends w/ the tree trunk.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and your kind thoughts!

      He did blend in really well. 🙂 Taking photographs is good exercise for my reflexes! I no longer pause to think before I take a photo. I just do. Something must be there. I will find out later. 🙂 As it turned out there was. I was thinking it was a nuthatch I hadn’t seen before. I don’t know the birds that well yet. The brown creeper is on the same page of the bird book as the nuthatches, but there isn’t one that looks like him. The bird book says he is “uncommon” and this is his winter range which makes it even more unlikely that I would have seen him in the first place. 🙂

      I was thinking of making a post of the butterfly photos for this weekend before I went by the garden looking for something else. I ended up finding other things. This is how it goes. 🙂 I have been wondering where the monarch butterflies are on their journey north.

  2. birdlady612 says:

    Beautiful pics and stunning colors. 🙋🐦

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and your kind thoughts! I am happy you enjoyed the photos. 🙂 It was the last of summer and the first of spring. The colors are starting to tumble over themselves in their rush to be seen. Today, I saw the crab apples flowers blooming for the first time this year. 🙂

  3. Jet Eliot says:

    Enjoyed this tribute to wild wonders — excellent photos too, Sarah.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and your kind thoughts! I am happy you enjoyed the photos. 🙂 I am constantly amazed at the beauty, the complexity, and the both durable and fragile nature of the natural world. I could say I think the butterflies traveling such long distances on their fragile wings is miraculous. Then, I would have to add that the little woodland wildflowers who show up for a week or two each year and then disappear until the following year have their space in the list of miracles as well. Always a wonder. 🙂 And it is exciting to see a bird I haven’t seen before. 🙂

  4. Really enjoyed your post – and loved the video 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Hi 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and your kind thoughts! I am happy you had fun looking at the photos and the video. 🙂 I saw a red admiral butterfly a couple of weekends ago, but I haven’t seen any monarch butterflies yet. Everything has turned very green in the last several weeks after days of rain. Lots to see. 🙂 Good luck with your garden!

      • Thanks Sarah – I was just looking at the wonderful photos on your blog from Jester Park 🙂 -beck

        • Sarah says:

          Hi 🙂 I am enjoying watching your plants grow. 🙂 It is fun to see the seedlings and all of your projects.

          The little bit of excitement here today was a couple of barn swallows sheltering from the rain under the landing outside of my door and on top of the light by my door. It started raining midway in the early morning walk. The one on the light let me quite close before he flew away. I talked to them as I do. 🙂 I don’t know if they are the ones who were here last year. Would they remember me? Life is full of mysteries. 🙂

          • Oh wow … that’s wonderful – swallows on your doorstep. Such a beautiful bird. 🙂

            We have a very fat pigeon who lives in our tiny garden. I’m pretty sure he is living exclusively on children’s dinner crumbs from the outdoor table 🙂

            • Sarah says:

              The pigeon knows he has found a good place to live. 🙂

              I love having the little barn swallows around. 🙂 The owners of these apartments are not so fond of them, though. Last year, the nest below the landing kept being taken down. The barn swallows did manage to build one up near the roof by the entrance using a small ledge. The nest is on the other side of my living room wall up in the corner. I was lucky to watch a family of young barn swallows grow up last summer every time I walked outside of my door. An adult would arrive and there would be lots of chattering as they all put their heads up hoping for food. One day, they learned to fly and a few days later they were gone. They grow really fast. I love watching them fly. I read that they can go as fast as 40 mph. I see them on my walks here flying over the grass, sitting on the telephone wires, and picking up mud and sticks for their nests.

              • You were definitely incredibly lucky to get to see the barn swallows fledge! 🙂 I’ve just been watching your lovely video of the chipping sparrow – it’s incredible x I love how it throws its head back like a little opera singer!

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