Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Painted and Purpled

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Balkan Sage
There must have been at least thirty "ladies" dancing about in a clump of Russian sage (Salvia yangii), around a corner in the village this week.

On the way home from a morning walk, Beau and I stopped to admire a neighbor's riotously colorful fall garden, and there were the butterflies. For a while we watched as they fluttered exuberantly hither and thither in a perfect marriage of vivid orange and deep purple, two of my favorite colors.

The kaleidoscope in the garden was a clear sign that migration to Mexico and Central America is not far away. Astonishing creatures, painted ladies fly high and fast, and theirs is the longest known continuous butterfly migration, surpassing all other species including the Monarch. During migration, populations of V. cardui may travel several thousand kilometers.
During times of migration, populations of Vanessa cardui can move thousands of kilometers
During times of migration, populations of Vanessa cardui can move thousands of kilometers

Alas, it was a windy September morning, and most of the images we bagged were fuzzy - there was only a single acceptable capture. We only seem to see the "ladies" together here in September, and hoping for a autumn kaleidoscope of my own, I will plant Russian sage in the garden next year.

3 comments:

Barbara R. said...

I've never seen Russian Sage...it does have pretty blooms. And to attract such beautiful butterflies does sound like a good idea.

Mystic Meandering said...

Hopefully the "painted ladies" will migrate through here! I'll be watching for them!

christinalfrutiger said...

What a beautiful capture of the lady and the sage! That is a perfect photograph! I have Russian sage in my garden and it is a great pollinator plant..Lots of other nectar loving insects love it...almost like lavender but definitely has a sagey scent!