Arb Sightings 8/5/10

Posted on August 5th, 2010 by

A few days of heat indexes well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit have finally given way to cooler temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s as promised, and today’s temperate breeze comes as a great relief as a cold front moves through the Upper Midwest. The transition from hot to cool occurred very quickly yesterday evening, resulting in only a very brief downpour that dropped 0.02 inches of rain in St. Peter. The next ten days’ forecast predicts temperatures in the mid- to upper 80’s and possibly low 90’s with a chance of isolated thunderstorms on just about every day, which means we’re probably going to be stuck in this hot/humid rut for a while longer.

The Bird and Butterfly Garden behind the Interpretive Center is booming right now with both plant and animal activity. The Red Prince Weigela continues to attract at least one Ruby-throated Hummingbird each day, usually in the morning hours. At least seven butterfly species have been observed this week nectaring on blooming Purple Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan, Swamp Milkweed, Joe-pye Weed, Veronica, and Butterfly Bush. Monarch butterflies appear to be the most numerous species in the garden this week, with at least six different adults observed at one time. Equally as exciting this week has been the discovery of several Monarch caterpillars feeding on Butterfly Weed, the orange-flowered milkweed planted on both sides of the garden; on Wednesday two keen-eyed little girls spotted an impressive ten caterpillars on a single plant!

Monarch caterpillar feeding on Butterfly Weed in Bird and Butterfly Garden, 8/3/10.

I was able to photograph several of the butterflies nectaring on flowers in the Bird and Butterfly Garden this week. Enjoy the array of colors!

Monarch nectaring on Swamp Milkweed, 8/4/10.

Viceroy (the Monarch mimic) nectaring on Joe-pye Weed, 8/4/10.

Viceroy nectaring on Black Knight Butterfly Bush, 8/4/10.

Red Admiral nectaring on Purple Coneflower, 8/3/10.

Clouded Sulphur nectaring on Purple Coneflower, 8/4/10.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail nectaring on Black Knight Butterfly Bush, 8/3/10.



  1. Jeannie says:

    Beautiful pictures….thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Joan says:

    Gorgeous pictures!!

  3. Donna says:

    These are so wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Linda Riebesell says:

    Wonderful. Thank you so much.