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the butterflies are here

With the warm weather and flowers blooming we are starting to see more butterfly visitors.

The lovely gulf fritillary Agraulis vanillae in the image above spent a while in the patio area. First it was sipping nectar on flower heads of the butterfly bush Buddleia.

Then it spent a long time on the ‘Oaklandia’ passionflower Passiflora parritae x tarminiana leaves and blossoms. I wonder if it was laying eggs there, since passionflower plants are their sole host plants.

This is the first time I've ever seen a Common Checkered Skipper Pyrgus communis.

It was feeding on the nectar of blossoms on the Nemophila maculata "Baby Five Spot"plant. And if it is a female it was also collecting pollen to feed their larvae.

We've been seeing magnificent Anise Swallowtail Butterflies Papilio zelicaon like this one, wafting in the breeze, around the patio and through the garden. I always forget how beautiful and large they are. Our fennel plant isn't looking very good this summer, but maybe there is another plant in our garden that could serve as a host plant for the larva of these butterflies.

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