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Fall Butterfly


By Raquel


Ever since I started my container garden on my 3rd floor balcony, I have loved the idea of birds and bees and butterflies visiting. To entice the birds I got a birdfeeder, and now usually get chickadees and pigeons…though what with the financial crisis and all I bought them cheaper seed, and the amount of birds have slackened off! Picky birds, like they can tell it’s not as fancy! LOL

The bees have been harder to come by, though I plant mostly flowers and I live close by to a big park. I would expect to see more, but I hardly ever see any. It makes me sad when I think how decimated the honey bee population has become. The butterfly situation was not much better. This was not for lack of trying on my part. I tried planting some of the plants that were touted as “perfect for a butterfly garden”, except for the butterfly bush, which I considered too big for a container and for me to handle. I tried echinacea, sweet alyssum, and deep purple petunias. No butterflies. Not even a moth!
Until this past Sunday, when one came to visit the lantanas and stayed for a long time! It surprised me that it kept coming back, and that it stood still long enough for me to take these pictures. The butterfly arrives:

Here is a second shot, I dared to get a closer look, still fearing it would fly away:

And the nicest shot of all, the butterfly with its wings spread out.

It seemed to know it was Halloween, or at least Fall, because it had a gorgeous orange coloring!

I deduced that the red lantanas did indeed live up to the hype that they attract butterflies! I only saw that one though (and a small bee!) It was interesting to me, that the butterfly kept coming back, even very close to me, and landed several times quite close so I could see it clearly, it didn’t seem shy of me. It made me a little nervous because in El Salvador there is a folk myth (belief) that moths and/or butterflies announce deaths, and that butterflies transport the souls to heaven. So while it was beautiful, I kind of wanted the butterfly to leave quickly, but it did not. The thing with folk tradition is that even though you might consider yourself a rational person and not superstitious, the ideas are a part of you and make you wonder. No one in my family died or has died, thank goodness. But my friend Kevin’s father (you might have seen Kevin among my pictures) succumbed to lung cancer on Monday, Nov 1. All Souls Day to boot. Like I said, it makes you wonder.

Here are some other shots of the lantana, which is just gorgeous right now, only the red one is blooming though the yellow one has buds:

Leaves don’t turn color in Houston, and I do miss the Fall colors, but the depth and brilliance of the reds of this lantana make up for it! Hope all of you are having a happy Autumn!

More blog posts by Raquel

Previous post: Blooming lavender rose...

Next post: Coloring: Pink and White (mostly).



You've some lovely Lantanas there Raquel, like you they have a lovely name too ;-) Have you thought that you could be too high for the butterflies, are there more on ground level?
You're right about bird food, we bought a cheaper sack of it and only some birds will eat it. I recon that different birds eat different things, maybe stuff like corn is easier to harvest and more plentiful than seeds ect. Keep up the good work though as we need them all to flourish.....especially the bees.

5 Nov, 2010


Sorry to hear about Kevin's father. I hope they can cure it for him
But I'm pleased you saw your butterfly.
I think lots of folk tales are creepy. We have many Welsh ones. I don't really like them lol

5 Nov, 2010


Thank Heron, that's sweet! I love the lantanas, and especially that they grew up after being decimated in August, when I was gone for a couple weeks and came ack to find brown stalks. But after cutting them back they sprouted again. I think I spoiled my birds, I was giving them a fruit 'n nut mixture and now they just don't seem to like the simpler your birds do the same...I had never thought I could be too high up for the butterflies! That's a good point. I need to look around carefully and see if I see more when I'm on the ground floor.

5 Nov, 2010


Thanks Hywel, I did enjoy seeing the butterfly! I'm not hoime all the time and so it's sometimes hard to see who comes visiting my garden. =) Unfortunately Kevin's dad died this past Monday. =( He lived in Cuba, so maybe the treatment was just not modern enough or it (the cancer) was just too far gone to be cured. Kevin lives in Colombia, though we saw each other in Florida in August, so he could not go to his father's funeral. Sigh. It also reminds me of how far away my parents are.

5 Nov, 2010


Lovely photos and blog. i've not had many butterflys this year either.

5 Nov, 2010


Beautiful butterfly ... pretty lantana :o)

5 Nov, 2010


Thanks Raquel. That's so sad. I hope Kevin can come to terms with it, and you too ... It can't be nice living so far away from your family. but we have to make our lives work wherever we are. And I suppose when you are able to see your parents it's very special :o)

5 Nov, 2010


Thanks Hywel, I appreciate it. It is hard living far away, especially as my parents get older. I do make it a point to see my parents (and my brother who also lives in El Salvador) at least once a year, usually for Christmas. It is very nice to be home! Thanks Clarice and TT, I'm glad you liked them!

6 Nov, 2010

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