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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems






Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Autumn Makes A Grand Arrival

Florida's endless summer has finally bowed its knee to autumn's brisk coolness. Might we just shout a little hallelujah and say we are quite happy gardening in its invigorating presence.

White Peacock
After two weeks of record-setting highs in the 90's our Southerly spot on the map finally dropped down into the upper 50's overnight this weekend. A much needed rain shower ushered in the first true cold front of the season.

White Peacock
Following the rain we have been gloriously free of humidity and enjoying the most pleasant weather we've had in many months.

Orange-Barred Sulphur
It was a day for butterflies when once the wind subsided.

There was a flurry of activity as I practically skipped about the garden doing some fall planting. [You'll be interested to note ... all the photos in this post were taken in a matter of minutes ... the butterflies were very cooperative.]

Orange-Barred Sulphur
With sunshine galore and temps in the upper 70's it seems my flying friends were released all at once to flutter about and catch up on some nectaring.

Cassius Blue

Two of my favorites were visiting simultaneously. The white peacock and the super-tiny cassius blue each sipping from the bushy lantana that is a magnet for so many variety of butterflies.

The male blue was captured in a rare moment of wings spread open wide while basking in the warm rays.

Even though there were blues, sulphurs, gulf frits, monarchs, and a lone white peacock all sharing the sunny corner of the back garden the skippers out-numbered them all. Often dancing through the air in pairs.

Since I don't know each ID I hope you don't mind if I just display the photos.
I'd be guessing... like I did on the orange-barred sulphur (*grin*) hoping it is correct. But please, if anyone knows for certain I am always up for learning so ... feel free to indicate which is which.
Yes, autumn is a second spring (in the words of Albert Camus). It has been good to be reminded by the beauty of the weather and the critters that bless me with their visits how marvelously inspiring this second spring is.

27 comments:

migalka said...

What beautiful photos!

Katarina (Roses and stuff) said...

Hi Meems, your garden must be a paradise sith all those lovely butterflies!
Hapy autumn!

SophieMae said...

Cool? Did you say cool?! We went from the 90s to the 30s! In the middle of October! We had one day of autumn and plunged straight into winter.

I'd have to get out my book to even TRY to ID your skippers. Except the next-to-last, which is (probably) a Long-tailed Skipper, AKA Bean Leafroller.

Thanks ever so for sharing your gorgous photos! I haven't seen a white peacock in a coon's age! They're a rare treat up here, usually found only along the coast where it doesn't get quite as cold.

Have a JESUS-filled day! ^i^

James Missier said...

lovely to see all those butterflies so tame and lovely.
Im amazed that you can capture them in close range.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a delight to walk into the garden and find all of those butterflies flitting around. The Casius wide open is great. Those folded winged skippers are tough to id. I enjoyed just seeing them.

Randy Emmitt said...

Meems,

Good reading and wonderful photos! Your big brown skipper is a worn Dorantes Longtail same as the one shown with tails. The smaller skipper is femal Fiery Skipper.

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

You have certainly been blessed with a lot of butterflies! Great photos!

I wish my remaining Monarch would pack her bags and head south to visit you! We've had two mornings of frost, but she was still in the garden yesterday.

Cameron

Meems said...

migalka,
Thank you... and so nice for you to visit.

Katarina,
Well, there are some days when the weather cooperates that it 'feels like' a mini-slice of paradise.The last few days have been like that.

Sophie,
You all did get some extremes but down here in the southerly part of Florida it wasn't as severe a shift. I was up your way in some of that awful heat... yuck, yuck. Your days should level off now and be enviable. The peacock visits occasionally... it is the one that made me run get the camera and start clicking away. I haven't stopped to take butterfly photos in a while... always a delightful break when I do.

James,
They are such beautiful and intriguing creatures. I don't always get close enough... the zoom feature is a wonderful gift.

Lisa,
It was one of those days when there were so many I just had to stop and admire. They bring so much color and life to a garden.

Randy,
My faithful butterfly expert! Thank you! The fiery skipper I was pretty sure of... just love their tiny golden flutterings.
How do you tell the difference between the Durantes and the long-tailed? So similar when the blue upperside is not apparent.

Meems said...

Cameron,
Your monarch must know of a warm hiding place but she won't last through the winter. Would love to keep her happy for you if you can get her to leave your beautiful gardens.

CoachK said...

Love the new fall look Meems. And the photos are beautiful of the butterflies - one of my favorite little creatures.

Happy Fall!

Rose said...

Beautiful, Meems! What a joy to see all the butterflies in your garden. Most of ours have left for the winter, but a few have surprised me by appearing again the last few days. Glad to hear you've had such pleasant weather; last week while I was complaining about the cold and wet, my daughter in Arizona was complaining about the 100 degree heat!

Gail said...

I love the beautiful colored butterflies, but the skippers have a big place in my heart. They are always here...the minute it warms up they are everywhere....and much appreciated. The Cassius Blue is precious and you've captured the Sulphur with wings open~~that is one elusive butterfly! I've chased it around the garden and never capture it open winged. Meems, thank you for sharing your garden visitors with us...they are lovely. gail

Meems said...

K,
When the garden doesn't offer much change the blog fills in that gap. LOL Enjoy!


Rose,
Last week the nation was in opposite straights with the north experiencing record low's... we were holding out with record high's. It's never just perfect for all of us at the same time. hmmm. We do love our critters year round. Makes the gardening experience even more delightful.

Gail,
You and me both... those skippers are abundant and hardy. The open sulphur WAS rare and thank goodness for multiple clicks by the shutter that captured it albeit not so clear as we like. We don't see the orange-barred all that often. It is huge compared to the other sulphurs and appears white while in flight. I'm just completely enamored with those eensy-weensy cassius beauties.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Congrats on getting some AUTUMN temps, Meems. We brought that cold front to you, you know. We were there on Saturday--when the cooler temps came!!!!! You can thank me anytime.... ha

Beautiful pictures.
Hugs,
Betsy

Patricia said...

So beautiful, Meems.

Autumn Belle said...

The butterflies capture here are very beautiful and they even have autumn's colours! All of them are great shots. I have never been able to capture a butterfly nicely on camera.

Re's Aussie Garden said...

Gorgeous photos, love the butterflies and the frog in your last post. We love Autumn too, a blessed release from the heat of an Aussie summer!

Sunita said...

What an amazing lot of butterflies! Autumn (or what passes for it in Mumbai) has arrived here too. I love the way our seasons coincide though we're almost on opposite corners of the world. And yes, the butterflies have arrived here too :)

Meems said...

Betsy,
I am quite certain it was you and George who pushed that wonderful front this far down. A hearty thank you for doing it. LOL

Patricia,
You are kind. Thank you.

Autumn Belle,
I do love the way the butterflies complement the colors of autumn and ... might I say so does your sweet name. It is musical!

Re,
Thank you so much for stopping by. Summers can be quite harsh. Autumn in any region is a huge relief I suppose.

Oh, Sunita,
You have such a lovely array of butterflies we don't get here. Ours don't really ever arrive as they are here year round. But there are days when they are out in abundance. This was one of those days.

marmee said...

meems,

oh how i love your second spring...it really does look like spring. i love the fact the butterflies and the skippers were all cooperating so nicely. it is absolutely magical when nature decides to do such things. i love the little blue cassius too.
enjoy your cooler fall.

Meems said...

Our autumn is much more like spring than autumn actually ~~~ other than the gradually shorter days. With Spring comes that wonderful anticipation of more hours of sunshine. Gardeners seem to be so keenly aware of every hour of daylight. This first real cold front made its drastic change in the weather like weather can do but we were on the grateful side of it for a change. It has warmed back up considerably but still getting in the 60's at night... big relief. The butterflies seem to be rejoicing with me lately. My little weekly charge thinks he's in a wonderland when he sees so much activity out there at once... AND we can stand to be out there in the middle of the day when the humidity is like this. Enjoy your days, dear Marmee.

janie said...

Such a show of butterflies! We have lots of monarchs and gulf frits, and a few sulphurs. There are swallowtails, too. But I am not good for taking pictures of them. The White Peacock is one that I don't remember ever seeing.

I really enjoyed your pictures.

Darla said...

I didn't read all of your comments but the next to the last one looks like a long tailed skipper? Your photos are beautiful as usual. We have had an abundance of flying friends too! Rain is supposed to be coming tonight. The places that you asked me about, if I had visited them, no I have not..Perhaps I should..

Rusty in Miami said...

I agree, is so nice to garden in cooler weather. The pictures are fantastic, specially the one with the blue butterfly, I never had one in my garden.

Aunty Belle said...

lepidoptera !!

I'se flyin' by (hehehehe) but will be back--as always, Meems, yore blog is a spot of wonder and such fun (ok, I admit it, envy too!)

Hope you and yores is well.

Meems said...

Janie,
You have many of the same butterflies we do. Thanks so much for stopping by Hoe and Shovel.

Darla,
I still say you guys are getting our dose of rain. It missed us again and I'm still dragging hoses around to water in between the one day allowed. I have found Just Fruits to be a valuable resources for mushroom compost and some great plants. The other one I mentioned I have only admired as a passer by but hope to get there soon.

Rusty,
The plumbago is a host plant for the cassius... I think I remember you have that. They are teeninsy little fellows...

Aunty,
Thanks for the fly-by... always nice to have you for however long you can stay.

mania said...

Love the blue butterfly. Its delicate and beautiful.


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