April 16, 2012

A Red-Admiral Day

It seems today is the day when all the Red Admiral butterflies in my Toronto neighbourhood come home to roost. I must have seen 25 or 30 while walking the dog today. I've got four Red Admirals in my garden right now. So whimsical  - I love butterflies. There's not much blooming in my shady garden yet, but they're resting their wings on the warm ground and chasing each other in pairs.

This tidal-wave of Red Admirals is nothing compared to the September when I had over 100 Monarch butterflies on my Japanese Knotweed at one time. That was magical. But that was in the days before we used a digital camera and I couldn't do it justice. It was two days past Labour Day and the Japanese Knotweed was in full bloom. Japanese Knotweed is a horrible pest, but it made up for it on that day. I could stand in the back yard, look up in the sky and count 20, 30, 40 butterflies coming in for landing. It was amazing - the Mexican migration right in my Toronto yard. They must have been sending messages out to each other or the scent of the knotweed must have lured them in. I contacted the media and some Toronto naturalists clubs but to no avail. Anyway this picture is sort of similar to the feeling I had on that day. I let my knotweed grow rampant for several years but they never came back.
Monarch Watch/Chip Taylor


Suse said...

I know exactly what this is like. I was on a small island off of Cape Cod and walked right into a large group of Monarchs floating along a dirt road. It is truly a sublime experience.

Roy Schulze said...

I saw one today who seemed desperate to catch up with his pals.

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