Butterflies are everywhere

Black Swallowtail

“The earth has music for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare

Every inch of our big field is covered with flowering Alfalfa, Clover, Wild Carrot, and Birdsfoot Treefoil, with Chickory and Milkweed here and there. There are many butterflies – Monarchs, Black Swallowtails, Eastern-Tailed Blues, Orange Sulfurs and Cabbage Whites, among others. If walking in forests makes us feel better, and has been scientifically proven to do so [1], imagine what being in nature and following the meandering paths of butterflies all day must do!

The many colours and patterns in the butterfly world, and their whimsical ways, remind me of the Jane Siberry song, One More Colour (CBC Radio3). I saw her perform in Toronto once and loved that she had her big dog on stage with her the entire time (and throughout One More Colour’s music video, she is walking a cow) – one of the most memorable concerts I’ve ever been to.


This post reflects most of the butterflies I’ve been seeing here recently – I haven’t seen a Tiger Swallowtail in a long while, so maybe they head south earlier.


I think this is a Common Wood Nymph – it was flying with the Viceroy and looked to be about the same size.

Common Wood Nymph (my guess)

Great Spangled Fritillary

The Virtual Museum of Canada reports that numbers for the Great Spangled Fritillary are decreasing in some areas of Canada, as a result of habitat loss (its range is southern Canada and the US) [2].

Great Spangled Fritillary

And these were the smaller butterflies:

Cabbage White

Orange Sulfur (or Clouded Sulfur?)

Eastern-Tailed Blues, mating pair

American Painted Lady

Pearl Crescent

Common Ringlet (and a darker version?)

For photos of a Red Admiral, see this post: Red Admiral.

Guardian.co.uk. Why walking in the woods is good for you. Online: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/27/walking-in-the-woods-health.
The Virtual Museum of Canada. Butterflies North and South. The Great Spangled Fritillary. Online: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Butterflies/english/gallery/nsnb_species/ns_19_GSFup_fr.html.
Walton, R. & Opler, P. (1990). National Audubon Society® Pocket Guide: Familiar Butterflies of North America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Note: The owners of referenced or linked-to materials do not endorse me or this site.

6 Responses to “Butterflies are everywhere”
  1. What a beautiful collection, much prettier than any stuck with pins on the wall.

  2. Cait says:

    Thanks so much, scienceguy!

  3. donald says:

    beautiful shots! you must have loved the afternoon in the field with all of them. seems like there are more butterflies than usual here on the coast, or, maybe i am just taking more time to notice them!

  4. Cait says:

    Hi Donald – and thanks! It really is wonderful to spend some time in their world. I’ve been wondering the same thing, as I feel like I’ve been seeing more butterflies this year than usual, too.

  5. Barbara says:

    Amazing pictures! The earth had some lovely “music” for you in your big field that day. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Cait says:

    Thanks Barbara, it surely did…and still does! Thank you for your kind comment!

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