Garden Photo of the Day

Waiting for Summer

Anticipating another year of butterflies and more

While patiently waiting for the warm days of summer . . . here are a few pictures I took around my home in Victoriaville, Quebec, last summer.

Enjoy! Christine Saint-Pierre

A painted lady butterfly fueling up on nectar. Painted ladies are native to every continent except Australia and Antarctica. The caterpillars feed on a wide range of plants, particularly favoring thistles and hollyhocks. Though found all over North America, they only overwinter in Mexico, then re-migrate north each year, just like their more famous cousins, the monarchs. Despite their small size, they can travel up to 100 miles a day while migrating!

Another painted lady butterfly, this time with its wings closed, showing off the intricate pattern on the underside of the wings.

A group of painted ladies has a snack on a sedum. Painted ladies are known to migrate to new locations in groups in an unpredictable way, so sometimes you’ll get lucky and a whole cloud of these beauties will show up in your garden! Make sure you have plenty of nectar for them to feed on, and they might just stick around.

This little beauty is a pink-edged sulphur. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of blueberries, so if you grow blueberries, you can enjoy this beautiful butterfly as well as the delicious fruit!

A lovely pink oriental poppy (Papaver orientale, Zones 3–7)

A black swallowtail butterfly. Swallowtails are some of the most beautiful butterflies in North America, and the secret to having more of them in the garden is to provide lots of food for their caterpillars as well as flowers for the adults. The caterpillars feed on members of the carrot family, and they love the leaves of plants such as carrots, Queen Anne’s lace, parsley, dill, and fennel.

Not every visitor to the flowers is an insect! This little frog is hanging out, maybe hoping to have a snack of one of the visiting pollinators.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 05/22/2019

    What great butterfly pics!

  2. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/22/2019

    Delightful group of pictures and I really enjoyed the accompanying info and id on the butterflies.

  3. paiya 05/22/2019

    Christine, your photos are spectacular and the butterflies are beautiful; the patterns are so intricate and interesting - aren’t genes amazing in controlling these designs? Do you have photos of the caterpillars? It would be helpful to know which are “friends”. Thanks for the information

  4. btucker9675 05/22/2019

    Thank you so much for these charming photos! The pink edged sulphur butterfly followed by that astonishing pink poppy - wonderful! And the little green frog is like the cherry (pistachio?) on top!

  5. btucker9675 05/22/2019

    One more comment - the painted ladies really love the sedums. Last year, my autumn sedums were covered with them during the bloom season, tussling for the very best spot for a snack.

  6. User avater
    simplesue 05/22/2019

    You sure take some fabulous butterfly photos! That Pink Poppy of yours is enough to convince me to grow some, that clear pink is so crisp. I just planted some Hollyhocks, so I was glad to learn the Painted Lady butterflies/caterpillars like them.

  7. cheryl_c 05/22/2019

    What a wonderful group of photos! I did not know about the pink edged sulfur - and we do a just a few of the new ornamental patio blueberries (Peach sorbet) so I will keep my eyes open! Thanks so much for sharing.

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