Red Admiral butterfly’s Blooms Day tour in May

Hello, I’m a Red Admiral butterfly, and I’ll be your host on May 15, 2010 for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

As you can see, I’m enjoying the last of the lilac nectar this sunny morning. Now that I’m a butterfly, it’s one of my favourite foods. (When I was just a caterpillar, I preferred eating nettles.) There are a few of us Red Admirals flitting about today. In fact, it has been a bit of a garden party.

But enough about us. You’re here to see what’s blooming, aren’t you? It doesn’t seem like a lot when you’re flying around, but when you get up-close, like I do, it’s very pretty. The human with the camera has tried out some little black marks under some of the pictures to explain. Perhaps they’ll make more sense to you.

While you’re figuring that out, I’ll have a little sit in this nice warm spot. The sun has been MIA for about a week, and it has been unseasonably cold and rainy, so it’s a change to spread my wings. Ahhh. That feels good.

However, you know me. I never sit still for long. Soon, my antennae noticed something different over there in the Microgarden (that’s what the human calls it). It was a whole, expanding family of Allium christophii. I remember them when they were just seeds. Can’t wait till they open.

And the Hesperis or dame’s rocket that matches their colour so well looks a little less vigorous this year. (Don’t be surprised. We Vanessa atalanta butterflies always know the Latin names of things.) Butterflies like Hesperis, but humans think it can get very invasive, especially in wild spaces.

What else is going on this Blooms Day? We’ll, I noticed the human taking pictures over by the wall where that reflecty thing is.

She was putting some new plants in that spot the other day. The purple Helleborus looks pretty good with the colours of the Japanese painted fern, Athyrium niponicum.

I think she tucked the purpley-leafed Ranunculus ‘Brazen Hussy’ in that area, too, as well as the Corydalis ‘Golden Panda.’ That one has blue flowers with yellow leaves, with a little bit of burgundy to match the other foliage. Nice.

Uh oh. Gotta watch out for that green-eyed grey beast. She tried to eat me. Twice! Fortunately, I was too fast. I think the human helped a few times, too.

I had other company in the garden. The Dicentra spectabilis was getting a thorough examination from a bumble bee.

But seeing all that activity makes me feel kind of sleepy. Think I’ll catch a nap over by the lilacs again. After a short slurp of nectar, that is. Whooo. That makes my tongue curl.

For Garden Bloggers’ Blooms Day reports from other butterflies, and probably from one or two humans, too, visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens. I hear she hosts that party every 15th of the month.


  1. I love those Red Admiral Butterflies! Even with the brown colouration they seem so bright. I love their jerky flight as well. It adds so much interest on those calm sunny days.

  2. Helen, I just eyed and photographed my first Admiral too! I love how yours becomes a tour guide through your lovely garden!

  3. Red, Could you please say hello to Helen for me! I loved your tour and invite your friends to visit my garden! gail

  4. Aren't you glad warmer weather is on it's way? I was concerned the cold snap may have been to much for the Admirals.

    If you ever head south of the border let me know. (I'm 20 miles south of the bridge in O'burg) I'll dig up a dark (and I mean dark) purple lilac you can try to smuggle back across the bridge.

  5. Red Admiral, what a lovely tour and fun guide!

    Your little Southern Cousin, American Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensis is down here exploring things like Verbena on the roadsides, Silene in the garden and wildflowers farther away.

    Where we were seeing one dark swallowtail at a time, we're now seeing 2s and 3s.

    Happy Bloom Day.

  6. Oh, little butterfly I loved your fluttering bloom day report. Thank you so much. We have a few of those beasts here too, and they try to eat our butterflies also. I definitely help them too. Happy Bloom Day to you and Helen.~~Dee

  7. Thanks for the tour, beautiful butterfly! I think you looked very nice with your wings spread out on the statue's face. We all need some sunshine now and then!

  8. The red admiral butterflies are so beautiful! I like it so much when they are in my garden.

  9. Hi, everyone, thanks for dropping by. I was quite encouraged by the sight of so many Red Admirals in my garden. It really was a garden party.

    Perhaps because I'd saved their lives from the stalking Willow cat so frequently, the butterflies actually let me sneak up quite close with my camera. I can't tell you how many shots I had to choose from. Let's just say, at this rate I'm going to need a bigger hard drive.

    Wiseacre, I wish we'd known about your purple lilacs when we were driving back and forth to Quebec City every summer. Last year, we did that trip five times! But as we no longer have a place there (sniff), our visit might have to wait. Please put Sarah's name on an offshoot, if you've a mind to.

    Happy blooms day, every day, friends.

  10. Wonderful pictures of the red Admiral Butterfly and your garden!!
    Our cat loves to catch the butterflies and other insects as well.

    Sorry to keep you waiting. The decision to travel to the Buffa10 has been made. I am not able to attend the event. Love to go, but we have decided to travel to Manitoulin Island.

    Have fun,

  11. What a delightfully clever post! Red Admirals so totally rock, and they're not all that easy to photograph. Good job at that, and keeping away the feline – this was most enjoyable!

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