|Red-spotted purple butterfly.|
|Painted lady butterfly on Hesperis matronalis.|
|Cabbage white butterfly|
|Butterfly feeding station.|
Mine is not, strictly speaking, a butterfly garden. I plant with the wildlife in mind, but I do not single out a particular species.Trees in sadly depleted woods, surround my house, which nestles in a wedge of land between creek and river. My twenty-five years old garden is new, by local standards. My village, Tater Hollow, is a couple of centuries old. Last year, I lost a number of trees and perennials due a misguided project initiate by the local government, which is remarkably obtuse when it comes to the ecology of my neighborhood. I have only just begun to replant. Earlier in the season, I added fifty-one trees, a dozen rose bushes and many perennials to my half-acre lot. It will grow, or not, without the benefit of pesticides. Birds and butterflies respond to such environments, though it bears no resemblance to the neat and prim outdoor spaces featured in shelter magazines.
websites, adult red-spotted purples do like flowers, but their preferred food is overripe fruit. That explains why this is the first time in twenty five years that I have seen this butterfly in my garden. Early spring, I prepared a butterfly feeding station with water, salt and overripe fruit. I expected to see the usual cabbage whites, monarchs, sulfurs and zebra swallowtails. Until this morning, cabbages whites had been ubiquitous and monarchs elusive. In May, when the sweet rocket, Hesperis matronalis was in bloom, a painted lady butterfly came by. Neither monarchs and swallowtails joined the winged host. Then, literally out of the blue, this jewel appeared on my doorstep, attracted , perhaps by the overripe mango I had set out at the feeding station. I know of no greater reward for such a small effort.