Tag Archives: butterfly

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

Perhaps if we renamed them

Did you know?

About a year ago a friend of mine was out trying to buy milkweeds for her gardens. That reminded me that I wanted a milkweed, too. I went searching but couldn’t find regular, everyday milkweeds at any of the nurseries. I’m thinking that, perhaps, if we were to rename them, say, butterfly bushes, the nurseries might carry them. Anyways……..

The last nursery I stopped at had an interesting tree near the checkout stand. Looked like this:

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

I wandered around the nursery looking for plants that I didn’t have, that I needed, that I wanted. I found a few, but I kept coming back to that tree with the Chinese lanterns hanging on it.

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

I had not seen any for sale so I asked about it. The plant lady told me that it was a Gomphocarpus physocarpus, that it was in the milkweed family, and that it always had monarch caterpillars and butterflies on it each year. She said she thought it was about ten years old.

I asked her if she had any for sale. She had “a few in back” so she went to get me one. It was just a little thing on July 17, 2018:

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

Here is what mine looked like on May 26 when I saw the first monarch butterfly on it:

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

It looks like this today, full of Chinese lanterns:

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

This thing blooms year-round, and I have seen monarch butterflies on it, lots of caterpillars, but no chrysalises. I’m thinking there might be some predators around who snack on the caterpillars before they can hide in their chrysalises.

Here is a 31-second video of a monarch caterpillar chomping down on it:

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Common Morpho

Does size matter?

Out & About San Diego

 

A few days ago when I was doing a home inspection, I noticed that the wall in the living room was full of pictures, probably about fifty or sixty of them. I believe each picture was a different size. I liked its effect.

I’ve always tried to take the picture that came out of my camera and use it as it was. If I cropped it, I tried to crop it proportionally so that I effectively had the same size picture to put in my blog. That size was always 575 pixels on its longest side.

Remembering my own advice that what comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with, today I present a selection of ten butterflies from Butterly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, cropped and sized as the mood struck me for each individual picture.

There were more butterflies than there were names so some of these are unnamed. If you know what they are, please leave a comment identifying them. Thanks.

Monarch

Monarch


 

Monarch

Monarch


 

Monarch

Monarch


 

Tailed Jay

Tailed Jay


 

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary


 

Common Morpho

Common Morpho


 

Common Morpho

Common Morpho


 

Unknown #1

Unknown #1


 

Unknown #2

Unknown #2


 

Unknown #3

Unknown #3


 

The San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park is located at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, about 45 miles northeast of downtown San Diego and east of Escondido on Highway 78:

San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

 

Although the Safari Park is open every day of the year, hours vary. Through April 15, which happens to be the last day for Butterfly Jungle, hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Based on experience, if you want to get in to see Butterfly Jungle, go at 9:00 a.m. They only allow a certain number of people in at a time so that butterflies on the ground aren’t crunched to death by the crowds.

For more information, visit online at San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park.

 

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Butterflies at Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park in April 2012

Dress like a flower bush….

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

Whenever I go to Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, I can always tell people — always women! — who have been there before or who know something about butterfly gardening. They always wear very bright clothes, hats, and jewelry.

I was fortunate because, on one lady’s hand, I got a picture of two of my three favorite butterflies for the day:

Butterflies at Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park in April 2012

 

If you think she was lucky for having three butterflies on her, well, she actually had many more on her back, shoulders, and hat. Her hat was full of fake flowers of all colors and she had on a bright red dress. The butterflies were loving here….. sort of…. I’m sure they were wondering where all the nectar was for such a beautiful flower bush. 🙂

The black & white butterfly is a Paper Kite (Idea leuconoe), and the green & brown butterfly is a newly hatched Gulf Fritillary or Passion Butterfly (Agraulis vanillae).

I took exactly three hundred butterfly pictures today, so I’m cataloging them as soon as I spend some time camping out in some blogs. See some of you shortly!

 

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Tailed jay

Do not disturb the butterflies if they land on you….

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

Safari Park was packed this morning…. parking lots full …. long line to get in …. another long line to get into Butterfly Jungle.

At Butterfly Jungle, we were instructed to beware of butterflies on the ground so as not to stomp them to death, and not to touch the butterflies or otherwise disturb them if they land on you.

Made it difficult for one photographer to take pictures:

Tailed jay

 

The butterfly is a tailed jay (Graphium agamemnon). The camera and lens? No idea.

 

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Out & About San Diego — #4: Go to an orchid show, come home with….

Out & About San Diego

Three friends and I went to Balboa Park to go to the San Diego Orchid Society’s winter show yesterday. I came home with 132 pictures of orchids, but I also came home with this picture:

Monarch butterfly in San Diego

  

That’s a male monarch butterfly. A female would have a little black dot on its wing.

After leaving the orchid show, we went over to the Botanical Building, just a few hundred feet away from where the orchid show was. The Botanical Building was also full of orchids but nothing that we hadn’t already seen at the orchid show.

That beautiful monarch butterfly was sitting outside the entrance to the Botanical Building when we went in. I would have stopped then to take its picture, but there was already a group of photographers waiting their turn. Since I have pictures of monarch butterflies, I decided to skip the monarch line.

When we came out, our monarch was still sitting there but there was no line. So I quickly made a line of one and came home with that picture.

Right next to where the monarch was sitting is a California milkweed (Asclepias californica), which I just identified tonight while writing this post. Monarchs love milkweeds, basically needing them to survive.

During the summer the milkweed is full of monarch caterpillars:

Monarch caterpillars, September 2011, San Diego

  

Monarch caterpillars, September 2011, San Diego

  

Monarch caterpillar chrysalis, September 2011, San Diego

  

Here is a picture of the flowers of the California milkweed:

Flower of the California milkweed

  

Pictures taken by Russel Ray using a Canon 550D and post-processing using Corel PaintShop Pro X4.

  

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