Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cats and Butterflies

Last month I found this caterpillar on the sidewalk out front. I helped it by moving it across the sidewalk in the direction it was headed so a bird or other predator wouldn't find him so easily. I watched to see if I could see where it might go to pupate. I lost it, I could never find it again.  
Then today on the Butterfly Weed that is growing out back I found another Monarch caterpillar creeping up on some of the nearly dried up Butterfly Weed plants. This does give me hope for the future. I look at these plants daily. I am surprised I haven't seen more of these caterpillars before today. This is the first time I have found Monarch caterpillars in my garden in a long time. I hope they grow up and return next year.
While out and about I came across this huge pile of scat. I am not even going to try to id it but what was so fascinating about it is that it was covered with butterflies, bees and beetles. You can see the Monarchs, Pearl Crescents, Buckeye and Painted Lady Butterflies. Did I say Lady? Anyway...
If we have a little closer look you can see the bees.
and the beetles.
I wish I knew the bees and beetles a little better. Can you tell what they might be?

35 comments:

  1. That's really interesting. I've heard butterflies like mud puddles but I'd never have imagined they were drawn to scat. I'll have to consider that the next time I clean up after the raccoons. Great photos, Lisa!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kris, scat is one of their favorite places to puddle. In this case the scat was in a dry dusty area. Probably the only moisture in a mile or so other than nectar.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lisa - the wonder of nature never ceases to amaze me. I have seen more butterflies this summer...Monarch and others as well. Your photos are great. Hope your weekend is good. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right about that Debbie. I hope you have a good weekend too.

      Delete
  4. Why care about a name, these butterflies are beautiful! Never seen these in The Netherlands. Love the pictures. Groetjes Hetty

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am glad you liked seeing these butterflies Hetty.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Who knew they’d all hang out there? Definitely not me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a disgusting part of their life that most people don't want to know. ha..

      Delete
  7. I love the Monarchs. Nate planted a Butterfly Weed plant, but I haven’t been checking it to see if we have caterpillars this year. We had several last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This milkweed was in the garden last year but I saw no action. This year it seems I have seen more butterflies in the garden. I was quite happy to find the caterpillars.

      Delete
  8. caterpillar so colorful. look pretty.
    Great shots.
    Happy Friday

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is good news! It's always fun to see caterpillars and butterflies in the garden and "out and about." So fascinating about the dung pile--so many types of butterflies all together! I seem to remember reading it's mainly the males that do that for the minerals. By the way, I see Viceroy butterflies (Monarch mimics) in the grouping, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great news for my garden. I don't have too many Monarch plants. I have been incorporating more. It seems to be working.

      Delete
  10. That's one of the wildest things I've ever seen. I know the butterflies use the minerals in scat to make pheromones or something like that. The males do. I often see certain butterflies on the old chicken poop in the barnyard. Also, butterflies love rotting fruit. I hope you see more and more Monarch cats around. We're about over for the season. I raised 41 cats to butterflies. I have four left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always admire people that raise butterflies and puppies. It takes a lot of patience. I am not that nurturing I guess. I would feel too awful if I failed because that would mean they died. I tend to let nature take it's course. Good luck with your last ones. It is getting late.

      Delete
  11. Beautiful butterflies and caterpillar.

    I would imagine dung beetle??
    I have them in the garden.

    We never truly knows what goes on in a garden, do we?
    I love the fact that mere observation teaches us so many things.

    Had a day of rain and it has turned cold.
    The garden looks refreshed.

    Enjoy your Sunday evening Lisa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might have been a dung beetle but it was so skinny. I think of them being wider.
      I love to see nature at work. One does learn a lot.
      I hope you had a great Sunday too.

      Delete
  12. I too read that insects including butterflies obtain salts, minerals and other proteins frin animal dung. They also with suck salts from human perspiration and animal carcasses. We have Painted Ladies but unfortunately no Monarchs. There looks to be a wasp in that mix too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a Hackberry butterfly on me when I was on the patio this week. I had been working in the garden. It must have thought I was tasty.

      Delete
  13. Wow, that's an amazing sight with all those butterflies. I just wish they were congregating around something a little more presentable in polite society.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks, for commenting ~ always great to have you visit and love your butterfly photos!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh my, that's some popular poop!
    I also had a few monarch cats this summer after years of not seeing them. Let's hope it's a good migration year.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a beautiful caterpillar. It was lucky you came along at the right time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wishing you a lovely weekend ~ with nature and your lovely garden ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

    ReplyDelete
  18. Again ~ wishing you another lovely weekend ~ in your magnificent garden!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love butterflies, Lisa. Nice photos!
    Happy new week!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Looking for moisture on the "pile", I guess, eh? Beauty and...not beauty in the same photo!

    There have been quite a few monarchs fluttering through the garden here, but no caterpillars. Hope your weather is lovely for autumn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our weather is not bad but we are still having above normal heat. I am not complaining because at least it is in the 80's. I hope you get some cats in your garden.

      Delete
  21. They saw beautiful butterflies.
    Good entry of month.
    janicce.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Boating is great fun! ~ Nice to see you ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

    ReplyDelete
  23. How wonderful that you're finding more monarch caterpillars in your garden! I'd no idea that butterflies would be drawn to scat. Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I assume the butterflies are "puddling" on the scat. We have a lot of monarch caterpillars this year too. I took a few inside to watch and left a bunch, who seem to be doing well, outside. I have only seen a few actually butterflies this year, but obviously they came and layed eggs.

    ReplyDelete