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Buckeye Butterfly visitor

How exciting!

My first sighting of a buckeye butterfly Junonia coenia in our garden!

And just a day after seeing leaf cutting bees on these Rudbeckia hirta "Chim Chiminee" flowers.

This just lifted my spirits.

I've been feeling down since the monarch larva population on our milkweed plants this summer has not been good. So far I've only seen five caterpillars, and of those I found one dead, cut in half by a predator. It could have been killed by a wasp, but we'll never know.

I was working from home today and spotted the buckeye fluttering across the patio.

It appeared as a flash of orange, so I grabbed my camera and ran out in hopes that the butterfly landed on a blossom.

And there it was, sipping nectar from the Rudbeckia, turning slowly, opening and closing its wings.

You can see its proboscis lowered into the flower cone, as it sips the nectar.

The proboscis is right in the center of the butterfly's head, between the antennae.

This summer I planted even more nectar plants for butterflies.

Hopefully we'll see even more butterfly visitors.

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