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Buckeye Butterflies

I used to just rarely see Buckeye butterflies in our garden.

Now, happily, I'm seeing several of them daily.

Here is one that visited our buckwheat patch yesterday.

It is perched on a native Seacliff buckwheat Eriogonum parvifolium flowerhead.

Red buckwheat Eriogonum rubescens is growing next to the Seacliff buckwheat.

This one was "puddling" in a gravel and dirt walkway in our backyard.

I had watered that morning some potted plants growing along the walkway.

Puddling is what butterflies do to ingest essential minerals.

Since they can't get salt from nectar or plants, butterflies get some of their nutrients such as salt, other minerals and amino acids from damp sand, soil, compost or manure.

The butterflies sip the damp soil and void the liquid, incorporating the vital minerals in their sperm.

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