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Butterflies on Saturday

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With the chilly weather lately I wasn’t expecting to see more butterflies. But today there were two in the backyard. This one is a Long-tailed Skipper, busy in the remaining flowers on the lantana bush.

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Closer look at the Long-tailed Skipper.

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Lantana berries on the lantana bush.

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And this one is a Gulf Fritillary that found the flowers on the lavender plant. The lavender plant is actually looking better now than it did in the heat of summer–fall weather seems to suit it more.

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Another shot of the Gulf Fritillary on the lavender plant.

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My favorite photo of the butterfly in the lavender.

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Dragonfly

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Just a few today of the dragonfly that decided to hang around the lavender plant this morning. It was perched on the plant when I stepped out the back door.

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It flew around a little but always returned to the lavender plant.

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Some dragonflies look like they have such happy faces–this was one of them.

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Monarch Butterfly on Thursday

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There was a single butterfly in our backyard this afternoon, visiting tiny wildflowers in the grass. It was mostly orange, and my first thoughts were the Gulf Fritillary and the Painted Lady that were around so often through the summer and early fall.

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When I got closer I saw it wasn’t either of those butterflies–it was a Monarch, the first Monarch Butterfly I’ve seen this year.

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There are several generations of Monarchs each year, starting in the spring. The first few generations have short lives of 2 to 6 weeks. But the last generation in September-October migrates south to a warm winter climate, lives through the winter, and migrates back the following spring.

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This butterfly was by itself, not with a group of other butterflies, and I don’t know if it’s on its way south, though I’d like to think so.

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A Few for Thursday

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I missed a couple of days while we were busy with appointments and other things, but I’m back today with a sparkling dragonfly perched in the sun.

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Side view of the same dragonfly, with a bit more of its head and body showing.

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Lantana flowers growing on the fence.

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And here’s the anole who likes to sit upright, leaning on the fence.

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Sunday Photos

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It was sunny this morning when Max and I spotted this squirrel running down a tree. Many of  the leaves on this tree seem to have died.

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I happened to look up as I walked under a tree and saw a huge spider web a few feet above me, spread from one tree to another. In the middle was a medium size spider, silhouetted against the sky along with some small insects caught in the web.

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I thought I knew what kind of spider it was. I brightened up one photo enough to see some details, and found that I was correct–it was a Spiny-backed Orb Weaver, a harmless spider I’ve seen often around the yard.

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In the afternoon a storm came through. The sky in the west behind these pine trees grew darker very quickly.

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A downpour followed. This is a view across the street, rain falling on branches that had come down during Hurricane Irma. Clean up from that storm is still going on.

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Painted Lady

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I looked out the back door today and saw a Painted Lady butterfly busy in the lavender flowers. I’ve only seen this pretty butterfly a few times, so it was a surprise to see it there.

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Like many of the butterflies lately, the wings on this Painted Lady are worn. Fall is here and cooler weather is coming.

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The butterfly landed on flowers hanging over the edges of the lavender pot.

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One more of the Painted Lady.

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A Few for Sunday

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Just a few for today. This Tiger Swallowtail is looking worn, with damaged wings.

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That didn’t stop it from enjoying the flowers.

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Crescent moon tonight.

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