Category Archives: Butterflies

The Fall Floral Festival is Afoot In The Yard

Lyon Park in autumn is no match for Flaming Vermont. But In The Yard, we’ve still got lots  of seasonal Carolina color. Pause for a moment and breathe it in . . . .

First Up — This is Old Fashioned Weigela, which has been blooming off and on since spring. On it is one our resident bumblebees, who are a disturbing lot to watch: slow, befuddled, forlorn and feeble. This one didn’t seem to know which end of the blossom had the hidden nectar they were seeking. Is it just their time, or are they like Russian army conscripts, exhausted by years in the darker gulags, just waiting to be fed to the drones?

This solitary bloom of a Butterfly Bush is coming off a summer scarred by multiple droughts, in this case a near-total desert of butterflies. Didn’t used to be that way.

Japonica is the yellow-and green leafed centerpiece here, one of the first entries in our new free-form space. It was a threefer: with both green & yellow leaves, and a color combo that stayed year-round with little care. They’re Japanese originally I think. And they seem to get along fine with our China Rose close by, also a sturdy & prolific survivor.

Brown-eyed Susans have just come out and are keeping low in a corner.

The Zinnias are also past their peak, but are holding on for a big finish.

The other Japonica bush, largely yellow, stands with our wildlife habitat sign, which is our main token of respectability.

One more: another pitiful bumblebee is still searching for the the business end of this Weigela bloom. Some bee experts say many species in the US are declining and under threat.

Bambi Revisited: Much More than Disney

The Guardian

Lucy Knight — March 21, 2023

Gunned down and burned by the Nazis: the shocking true story of Bambi

Walt Disney made Bambi a cutesy schmaltzfest for kids. But the original story was a brutal allegory by a Jewish writer who later fled the Nazis. As the character hits 100, we look at the iconic fawn’s extraordinary life.

When Love Island stars Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury announced that they had named their daughter Bambi earlier this year, it caused a bit of a storm. Some approving fans claimed to be “obsessed” with the name, but Atomic Kitten star Kerry Katona called it “ridiculous” (although she later apologised).

Continue reading Bambi Revisited: Much More than Disney

Breaking! In The Yard — Monarch Sighting Confirmed!

BREAKING! In The Yard: Confirmed Monarch Butterfly Sighting!

Friday Oct. 28, 2022

Glanced out the front door – a flicker of orange & black. Stepped out and YES! First Monarch sighting In The Yard in two years.





Hey — could you check the mail while you’re over there??











Normally I crop out the black edges, but here I think they bring up the Monarch’s wings.


Another Monarch Butterfly Doom & Gloom Report

Washington Post: Why monarch butterflies, now endangered, are on the ‘edge of collapse’

The International Union for Conservation of Nature placed the migratory insect on its endangered species list Thursday.


By Dino Grandoni
 — July 21, 2022

The migratory monarch butterfly, a North American icon with a continent-spanning annual journey, now faces the threat of extinction, according to a top wildlife monitoring group.

Thursday’s decision by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to declare the species endangered comes as years of habitat destruction and rising temperatures have decimated the fluttering orange itinerants’ population.
The species’ numbers have dropped between 22 and 72 percent over the past decade, according to the new assessment. Monarchs in the Western United States are in particular danger: The population declined by an estimated 99.9 percent, from as many as 10 million butterflies in the 1980s to fewer than 2,000 in 2021.

“It is difficult to watch monarch butterflies and their extraordinary migration teeter on the edge of collapse, but there are signs of hope,” said Anna Walker, an entomologist at the New Mexico BioPark Society who led the butterfly assessment.

The loss of monarchs underscores a looming extinction crisis worldwide, with profound implications for the humans who have caused it. One million species could disappear, according to the United Nations, a potential calamity not just for plants and animals but also for the people who depend on ecosystems for food and fresh water.

The IUCN is a network of governmental and nonprofit organizations that comprehensively tracks the status of species. Scientists from around the world work together to produce assessments.
 Continue reading Another Monarch Butterfly Doom & Gloom Report