Observation of the week: July 6 to 12, 2020

Thanks to the dedication of our Butterfly Blitzers, we made it up to 48 species and over 700 observations last week. In 2019 we found 55 species by the end of the summer. How many will we find this year?

Our sixth OOTW is this Lucia Azure, one of the many butterflies seen in @sunrisegardener’s garden.

All of Julie’s (aka @sunrisegardener) iNaturalist photos come from her garden in Georgetown. Her goal is “to foster awareness of the difference we can all make, through appropriate plant selections, to foster biodiversity at home”.

Julie has worked hard to make her garden welcome for butterflies and other wildlife. She has included many native plant species, mixed species to ensure that there are flowers blooming throughout the spring and summer, and makes sure that there are enough host plants that different caterpillar species need to eat.

The approach seems to be working, as Julie has seen over 175 species of birds and insects in her yard. Julie says that she is never outside without her camera in her pocket between March and November, and that “As soon as I see movement, no matter how hard I try, my gaze automatically averts to see what it is. I can see the front garden from the living room, so my family laughs when I exclaim: "Butterfly!" and go tearing outside.”

The Lucia Azure that Julie saw is one of three butterfly species that can be tricky to identify. For years it was believed that only one Azure species occurred in Ontario, but that number has changed over the years, and it is now thought that there are three distinct species. Two of these species, the Lucia Azure and the Summer Azure occur in our area.

Figuring out which Azure species you are looking it can depend largely on the time of year, although there are also some differences in wing patterns. This article provides a good overview of the differences, with a link to a more detailed study.

If Julie has inspired you to fill your garden with native plants, CVC has resources to help. Check out our webpage with all kinds of resources on ecological landscaping and get in touch if you have questions.

Julie has also made a very generous offer: “Every year, I give away hundreds of native pollinator plants (including host plants) to increase habitat. Anyone in the Butterfly Blitz that would like some can contact me to arrange a pick up. Many are seedlings that will bloom next year.”

Posted by lltimms lltimms, July 14, 2020 14:35

Comments

Thanks Laura! Being able to step outside your door and be surrounded by butterflies, bees, birds and all the other little souls with whom we share the Earth is a wonder I wish for everyone. The native plants I share are the ones I have found support multiple species of butterflies, other pollinators and birds.

Posted by sunrisegardener almost 2 years ago (Flag)

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