Butterfly Bucket List: Question Mark Butterfly

This is my first post in a meme I’ve decided to start — Butterfly Bucket List. If you’re interested in finding out what it’s all about just click here or on the menu item at the top of this page! I hope you enjoy this post. If so, please consider joining in this month as well as on the 4th Sunday of each month in the future. (I know today is the 5th Sunday, but I had to start somewhere!)

My post for this month focuses on the Question Mark Butterfly. These odd looking but beautiful butterflies have been showing up in bunches in my garden over the past four or five weeks.

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)

Question Mark Butterfly — Summer Form

The Question Mark Butterfly has two forms — Summer and Winter. This photo is of the summer form — the form that’s been flitting around in my yard — showing the almost totally black upperside hind wing. In the winter form of the butterfly the same area is almost totally orange. Winter forms begin appearing during the late summer, a product of the eggs laid by the summer form.

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)

The Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) receives its name from the whitish ‘question mark’ on the underside of its hind wing. You can see it very clearly in this photo.

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)

Rotting fruit (they love rotten bananas!), tree sap, bird droppings, animal dung and decaying animal matter are the foods of choice for the Question Mark Butterfly. If none of these are available they will feed on the nectar of such plants as Aster (Aster), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia). The butterfly above is resting on the blooms of Rocket Larkspur (Delphinium consolida Rocket), either enjoying a meal or just taking a rest!

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)

Question Mark Butterflies are easy to miss when they’re resting on plants and trees. When their wings are folded they look very much like a brown leaf and can blend into their surroundings. This camouflages them perfectly from predators.

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)

Sometimes the ‘question mark’ on the underside hind wing is not as pronounced, with the ‘dot’ of the mark being small or even absent. This is evident in the specimen in the photo above.

(CLICK ON ANY PHOTO ABOVE TO ENLARGE)

Caterpillar hosts include American Elm (Ulmus americanus), Red Elm (Ulmus rubra), Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis ), Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata), Japanese Hop (Humulus japonicus), Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica ) and False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica).

Thanks for visiting my Butterfly Bucket list post for May 2015. If you’d like to join in on this meme, feel free! Just visit the comment section and provide a link to your post.

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More Asiatic Lilies

I wasn’t planning on posting today. With a rare day of sunshine and dryness at my disposal my plan was to wander over to my parents’ house after supper and mow their back yard before another round of rain set in.

Too late. Storms began coming through within minutes after my husband and I finished eating. Rain, hail, wet grass, electric mower — not a good combination! Then the Dish went out. Again. It will be gone tomorrow after over eight years with their service, but enough is enough. So I decided to sit down at the computer and post a few photos of my Asiatic Lilies (Lilium asiatic) that I was able to take this afternoon.

Here are a few facts about Asiatic Lilies (Lilium asiatic):

  • There are no “true” blue Asiatic Lilies, but they come in just about any other color you can imagine.
  • Asiatic Lilies are perennials.
  • They like well drained areas in full sun.
  • Their bulbs should be divided every three to four years.
  • Pests include lily beetles, slugs, snails, aphids, rabbits and molds.

There are many varieties of Asiatic Lilies, with wonderfully descriptive names. I have no idea whether mine have names or not. I usually purchase a couple of bags of “no name” bulbs each year and plant them in areas that need to be filled in. They’re easy to grow — I don’t think I’ve ever killed one! — and they come back year after year. They like full sun, which is a bonus!

More Rain
More Rain

We received almost another inch of rain as I wrote this post and another large storm is almost upon us. The first storm came at us from due south, the current one is coming from the west. How strange! I’m sure this mess will end eventually. Perhaps we could send it to California. I hear they need rain…

I Count My Blessings…

As I write these words, people and families in various parts of the town I call home are being evacuated from their residences due to flooding or the imminent threat of flooding. Rivers and streams and gulleys are over their banks across the region. Lakes and reservoirs that had been at the point of going dry due to years of drought are running over their spillways or are within a few feet of doing so. Streets and highways and bridges are closed because they’re inundated with water.

I count my blessings.

I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table and the love of God and family. Nothing else is important. We human beings complain about the smallest things and tend to ignore the big picture. We lust after the material world and forget about the simple things. We focus on “me, me, me” and shove the needs of others to the back of our minds.

I count my blessings.

I gripe that I can’t wander in my garden because the ground is too muddy….while a foot of water covers some back yards in my town. I get irritated when my husband comes in out of the rain and drips water all over the kitchen floor….while some folks will have several feet of water inside their homes within the next day or two as rivers rise. I groan when all the television stations are knocked off the air due to lightening or heavy rain….while others will be without the conveniences of home for days or weeks as their property and possessions dry out.

I count my blessings.

The truly important things in life can disappear in a heartbeat. We should never take them for granted.

Psalm 46 says: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. (Psalms 46:1-3, KJV)

Please keep in your thoughts and prayers all of the people who are suffering due to flooding or tornadoes, not just in my North Texas town, but in the entire state of Texas, in Oklahoma and in other areas of the U. S. being afflicted by severe weather.

Bird In Rain

Wordless Wednesday: Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy 'Silver Princess' (Leucanthemum x superbum 'Silver Princess')
Shasta Daisy ‘Silver Princess’ (Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Silver Princess’)

Picture Perfect Monday: The Lily’s So Bright You Gotta Wear Shades

Asiatic Lily (Lilium asiatic)
Asiatic Lily (Lilium asiatic)