Something's amiss at the Casa this summer. My garden, an organic pollinator paradise full of native plants, is conspicuously absent the large swallowtails, mourning cloaks, queens, checker spots, viceroys, etc that normally flutter from bloom to bloom. Hummingbirds, bees, skippers, and tiny blue butterflies that move so quickly I can't capture them on film, have been abundant. I had several swallowtail caterpillars in the parsley and carrots earlier in the summer, but nothing in the past month. I haven't even seen any large butterflies around town or at the animal shelter I volunteer for. The shelter is tucked away in the woods, its trails and garden always full of butterflies, including pipevine swallowtails. But this year I haven't seen any.
Where are they? Have you noticed a decrease in the number of large butterflies that have been to your area? Monarchs don't come our way until late summer. At this point, I'm just hoping they show up at all!
Please click on the poll to the right. I tried to increase the font size but wasn't able. Sorry it's so tiny! If you leave a comment, please let me know what state you're in. I 'd like to collect some anecdotal data to take with me to the Botanic Gardens in DC when I present this to the horticulturalists there. When pollinators disappear, something is very wrong!