BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Friday, August 24, 2012

Open today fri am/pm; painted ladies

We are open today friday 9.30-12.30 and 3-5.30. We will be open tomorrow (and probably sunday)  but only to "newbies" - those that have not yet visited this year. We will also open tues pm and probably thur and fri next week. But we are starting to wind down (though there are still plenty of hummingbirds around). Check this blog for details.

Today's photo, by Michelle Neacy, shows a butterfly for a change - the "painted lady", Vanessa cardui, on butterfly bush (Buddleia). This is the "regular" painted lady, which can be found worldwide. At first glance they look like half-size monarchs. There is also an American painted lady, V. virginiensis. The most obvious difference is on the paler "underneath" or ventral, wing: the former has 4 small eyespots, the latter 2 large ones. The American is found in small but fairly constant numbers but the "regular" occurrs more irregularly, and this year they are in great abundance everywhere (including here and almost certainly your yard).
We also get many other butterflies, drawn by the nectiferous plants that attract hummers. However, butterflies very rarely go to sugar-water feeders, and hummers don't much visit  plants that butterflies love, even butterfly bush itself. I see that on my plant rating page on the website I give butterfly bush 2 stars (out of a possible 5) but now I would tend to downrate it to 1 star. The only thing that gets 5 stars is the "bottomless" plastic feeder (as long as it's kept clear, insect-free and full of fresh "nectar").
Amongst the spectacular large butterflies you will see here are momarchs, the very similar viceroys, and the tiger, spicebush and black swallowtails (which include the largest of all butterflies). I will feature these in later posts.

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