Monarch season 2011
'Tis the season for the monarchs to gather before heading south across the lake... They arrived on Saturday and are still here this morning. Randy and Liam's 'daddy' had a photo session with them Saturday afternoon. Jared's photos aren't up on his on-line photo albums yet but Randy uploaded his last night - finally!
Here are two views I took of the heptacodium tree from the front porch early Saturday morning before the butterflies were active. I was just trying to show the size of the tree and the context around it. The highbush cranberries at the edge of the garage produced so much fruit this year that the branches have bowed down so low that you have to duck to get under them to walk down the center path in the front bed or along the path beside the garage. If the stems don't straighten-up again next spring after the fruit is gone, I'm going to need to do some severe pruning...!
The Queen Elizabeth rose in the driveway border is doing a fabulous bloom at the moment. The stems are well over 6' tall and have been flowering like mad for quite a while now. We like it tall so only cut it down to about 18-24" in spring.
Randy didn't get a really good shot showing how many butterflies are in the heptacodium tree but you can see quite a few in this one:
I like the vivid contrast between the butterfly and the blue sky in this one:
And the butterfly in this one was unusually orange - usually there are paler colors on the wings too. There seemed to be more butterflies this year that are just a strong orange and black...