The Friday night air had hints of fall weather to come and Saturday morning, I opened the windows to my house, letting the fresh breeze in. I love being able to open my windows and let the fresh air blow through the house.
This weekend was full of cool breezes and sunny weather. It was a perfect glimpse of the fall weather to come and a great time to get outdoors. We Mississippians give up being outdoors for much of August. We just can’t stand the heat and humidity. So when the cooler temps begin, we make good use of it.
I spent a lot of time in my garden both days, moving things around, digging up plants, and planning for the future. There was a wheelbarrow, pick axe, shovel, trimmers, and even a hose involved in the process.
Come Monday, I was so sore I was ready to return to the office for a bit of a break. I still have a lot more I want to get done before the fall season gets into full gear, but it will have to wait until another weekend.
While I was digging a hole, I saw something fly by out of the corner of my eye. Then I saw some more movement in the same direction, so I dropped the shovel and took a closer look.
Just settling down to dry its wings on my tomato plant sat a Gulf Fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae). The chrysalises I had watched being created were opening up and the orange and silver wings of the butterflies were starting to creep out.
During the 20 minutes or so that I spent watching, I counted six brand new butterflies drying their wings and then taking off in flight.
They are beautiful and delicate. They flash their bright orange wings with shimmers of silver. They are exquisite.
My new neighbors were outdoors too, so I went over to invite them to take a look. They brought their five-year-old son to take a look. He was enamored with the little insects. I love to see kids falling in love with what Nature has to show us. We talked a little about the host plant for these insects and what their caterpillars look like.
Soon, these butterflies will begin their migration to Florida. I hope they will return next year to lay more eggs. Guess I’ll have to make sure I plant more purple passionflower vine!