I have butterflies. Not in my stomach, but in our yard. Yesterday, as I clipped the fading zinnia flowers, a monarch floated above the flower bed, landing on one zinnia and then another to probe for nectar. This was a fourth generation monarch. Its wings looked fresh and beautiful, delicate but sturdy enough to carry it all the way to its wintering grounds in Mexico.
Two wonderful websites provide more cool information about monarchs--Monarch Watch and the Monarch Butterfly Website.
As I stood watching the monarch among the zinnias, another butterfly landed on my leg. This was another remarkable butterfly, the mourning cloak.
Meanwhile, a "flock" of cabbage white butterflies flitted among the flower beds and in the vegetable patch in the front yard. This is one of the few well-established, introduced butterflies in our region. The next butterfly to visit the zinnias was a painted lady. I think she was on her way to the southern U.S. to spend the winter.
Scott Young if he knew what species of cicada this might be, he replied that these bugs are difficult to identify. We think it is in the genus, Tibicen, which are the annual or dog-day cicadas. So named, because they emerge during the "dog days" of July and August. This cicada was as fresh-looking as the butterflies, although a little more bizarre with its giant eyes, green thorax, and large, well-veined wings. It let me take a few pictures before buzzing off to a tree.
Yesterday was a good day to sit or stand quietly outside as insects of all stripes emerged to feed and get ready for migration or winter, as the case may be.