I love this time of year–everywhere I look there are butterflies and flowers. What’s not to like? Here’s a selection of some that I’ve seen on my July walks through the meadows of Mississauga and Oakville.
When’s the Best Time of Day to Find Butterflies?
There’s only one problem with butterfly hunting on a hot, humid summer’s day: They don’t seem to want to be out and about in the early morning when it’s still cool enough for a comfortable walk.
Butterflies seem to prefer to hide until nearly 11 a.m. and then they start to appear sunning on leaves and paths or seeking nectar and sap to refresh themselves. I particularly notice this when I walk along a straight path and then re-trace my steps an hour or two later. Where nothing fluttered on my first pass, suddenly the Queen Anne’s Lace, Chicory and Yarrow are alive with wings on the way home. So if you’re not seeing much, you may have to adjust when you walk.
Are There Fewer Butterflies This Year?
I keep meeting people who say they’ve seen far fewer butterflies this year. I’ve only been looking for local butterflies for the past three years so I don’t have an opinion on whether numbers are up or down. All I can reply is that I’m seeing lots of butterflies–although perhaps I should be seeing even more.
Report Your Butterfly Sightings to e-Butterfly.org To Help Build Some Data For Analysis
I’ve also started reporting my butterflies to an online resource at eButterfly.org. Over time, these types of programs can help researchers. They may use them to find a certain type of butterfly quickly. Or they may be able to spot patterns that are useful. There seem to be some hiccups with this program (I even received an email warning me of problems) but I am using it anyway and hoping for the best.
- Butterflies Gather to Sip Sap from an Old Oak at Riverwood Conservancy
- A Pipevine Swallowtail Hovers Briefly in View
- Black Swallowtail Surprise
- A Giant Swallowtail and Fritillary in Eastern Ontario
- That Monarch’s Just a Viceroy
Have you been seeing some of your favourite butterflies this year? Please share your sightings with a comment.