Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bluebells and Butterflies in Paradise

Years ago, our retired farmer neighbor moved to Florida to be closer to his son. Every year he sends us a holiday card telling us to enjoy our paradise. He seems to miss his Virginia home so much. I am reminded that I live in paradise every spring and especially at the first sign of Virginia bluebells.

Virginia Bluebells April 14, 2010

I love the magenta of the buds with the open blue flowers and the soft green leaves--lovely color combination.

The bluebells line the left side of this spring-fed waterfall which flows into Walker Creek. I was afraid the bluebells might be affected by the historic flood we had in March. And they were in one location where gravel piled up. Worse, I noticed garlic mustard was beginning to invade so I pulled up about 50 plants today--probably only a fraction of what's there but I plan to keep working on it for one of my Earth Day resolutions.

During the past week, the butterflies have really come out, enjoying the very warm spring days. Earlier we had the mourning cloaks, anglewings, and spring azures.

Spicebush Swallowtail April 17, 2010

The Spicebush is very common because of all the spicebush shrubs we have. Not photographed but also common is the Tiger Swallowtail which feeds on the many yellow or tulip poplars here.

Falcate Orange Tip Anthocharis midea
April 17, 2010

I've also seen quite a few of these Falcate Orange Tip butterflies. The female has no orange on its its forewing while the male is unmistakable as you see the flash of orange as he flies.

I'm not sure what this butterfly is. He flies quickly so I thought it might be a skipper but the only id that comes close from my field guide is the Red Admiral which is around here. But the Cattle Heart looks even more like this photo and its range is only in Texas?? Any ideas?

I am looking forward to Earth Day--should be a lovely spring day.


  1. The bluebells sre lovely as are your butterfly photos. Thanks for sharing them. Ann

  2. Great photos! i dont know that many I cant help you with your ID..there are different sites on the web that you can submit this photo to and they could help with the id.

  3. Lovely butterflies ~ and I think SW Virginia is paradise too :)

  4. I love your photos they are so vibrant, I am also a lover of butterflies.
    Perhaps someone from the national geographic can help.

  5. The last pic is of a moth the Grapevine Epimenis.