(Submitted by Marla in California)
In early September an orange and black butterfly appeared on my butterfly bush. At first sight I thought it was a Monarch, but after taking pictures with my phone and seeing it more closely and knew it was not a Monarch, so I went online to see if I could find a site to identify it. The closest type that came up was called a “Queen“.
After a few days or so, I noticed eggs on the leaves of my Clematis Passion Flower vine. As of today September 19 2014, we have 4 Chrysalis, and approximately 20 Caterpillars of all different ages. Their “Mom” does a “flyby” every day and has for the past month, and sometimes she’s accompanied by the “dad” or perhaps all 4 are “moms”.
I sent pictures to butterfliesandmoths.org and they have validated my sighting. The Butterfly is actually a Gulf Fritillary aka Passion Butterfly, hence the reason she chose my Passion Flower plant. From what I understand they only lay their eggs on that plant. And more amazing it is NOT native to my area.
It is so exciting to have been chosen by this butterfly to experience this incredible life cycle!
Perhaps it could be a visit from my deceased Sister. She passed on September 1, 2008. Thank you all for your heartwarming stories and for helping me to recall. Wow! That’s pretty cool!