I was all ready to show you our beautiful Fall foliage when I got sidetracked by a surprise.
One of my favorite butterflies, the Gulf Fritillary was there looking very much like a colorful leaf.
I see these beautiful, brilliantly marked butterflies flitting about all summer long.
But they usually never let me get very close. Until now.
Here's the little guy resting on my finger. They usually perch on stems with their wings closed. As you can see, the underside is quite remarkable. This is my first time to get a close photo of these exquisite patterns.
The best surprise happened next; he opened his wings! Due to some heavy rains and cooler weather, this little guy was worn out. He was in no hurry to leave my arm.
Notice the small silver spots. These are the best identifiers for Agraulis vanillae or as we say, the Gulf Fritillary. If you see a similar orange butterfly with no markings, it's a Julia (Dryas iulia).
They are a wide ranging butterfly and can be seen in many parts of the U.S.
I have a lot of nectar plants for butterflies, but don't grow the host plant. It's a native vine called Passiflora incarnata. It's one of our most exotic looking flowers.
Here's a picture of it at a local nursery.
There are also red varieties of Passiflora, as well as a yellow version called P. lutea.
In the book, Butterflies of Houston, the author states that females are very picky about their host plants and will avoid the red varieties since they aren't native.
I've also found this to be true.
I still think the leaves are beautiful this season.
But the one I'll remember most is the one that flew away.
Hope you find some nice surprises in your garden this month.
Thanks for stopping by.