Yesterday I followed a butterfly all over our back garden. It spent a lot of time in the flower boxes on the back deck (where my husband had planted pansies and decorative kale that we hope will live through our mild frosts). The butterfly then would flit off and take a rest among the fallen leaves before returning to the flower boxes.
Is it on its way south? Did it make it far enough away yesterday to escape the frost our area experienced last night?
It was a Gulf fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae), also known as the Passion Butterfly. Its range extends from Argentina north through Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean to the southern United States. On the west coast it can be found as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area. Occasionally seen even farther north, it always returns south in the autumn. I hope this beautiful butterfly is on its way to a warmer clime south of here.
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. (Rabindranath Tagore)