We have a butterfly bush.

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Nature
Tags: , , , , , ,

We have a butterfly bush.  We actually have two, one with purple blooms, one with white, both looking like lilac bushes.  I only realized recently that the white one was a butterfly bush as well.  The white one grows to the side of the deck, so I can’t see it as easily. The purple bush grows directly outside the large living room window, against the window when at its largest.


Although the bush doesn’t literally grow butterflies, it attracts them with enough frequency that it might as well.  It also attracts hummingbirds, bees of all sorts, and funky hummingbird hawk-moths.


It’s very much like being in a butterfly house, although there’s glass between the butterflies and me.  However, I’m constantly scrambling for my camera, iPhone or Nikon, and getting as close to the window as possible to take photo after photo. Each one looks as though it will be the best but sometimes the pesky butterflies or moths put their wings together, move to the other side of the blossom, or abruptly fly away, leaving me with a photo empty of my prey or with a blur of movement.  But I love hanging out at the window, either just looking or snapping photo after photo.

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee

We have three milkweed plants that are, as my mother-in-law called them, “volunteers.”  No one planted them, they just volunteered.  Monarchs love milkweed, so I’ve left them and propped up the one that was falling over.  Since the monarch population is at its lowest point in 20 years, I want to do all I can to provide places for them to reproduce and grow.  Although butterfly bushes are considered invasive in places, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here, so I can remain unabashedly in love with ours and with the visitors they attract.


m. we

  1. Stunning photos. I have been known to drop everything to go out to take photos. You are not the only one. 😀

  2. sunsetdragon says:

    This is so pretty

  3. Sandra says:

    I love Buddleia; the ones I’ve cultivated have tended to sprawl a bit, but the blooms are beautiful at their best.

    • I didn’t realize that they started new shoots every year, so when I moved last year, I thought it had died. This year I’ll know to cut it back and that it won’t be out until late summer. But how glorious when it’s out!


  4. Beautiful. I have several butterfly bushes and they always attracted beautiful butterflies until the summer of 2013 when we stopped seeing butterflies. Sad state of affairs. Thanks for sharing your photos. 🙂

  5. Pleased to see the monarchs. Oh, I adore the hummingbird moths. I am a long-standing devotee to hummingbirds, and that moth intrigues.

    • Sally, I first saw it last summer and thought it was a hummingbird until I saw it more closely. It’s so unique. I saw one in Urbana, Illinois recently, a shot that will be featured on the Phoneography Challenge one of these days. I was so excited to spot it.

      I’m also thrilled to see the monarchs. They were so plentiful when I was growing up in Nebraska and I hope they and bees will make a comeback

      Enjoy your day.


  6. storydivamg says:

    Fabulous photos, Janet. I love watching the monarch migration as it comes through Kansas each year. What kind of lens did you use to get the cover photo? I’ve always wanted to do photography of this sort, but I’ve never had a camera that was quite up to the job. However, a good camera is on my Christmas list this year, and I’m have high hopes that next time the monarchs parade through my neighborhood I’ll be able to get some great shots. We even have a butterfly park about six blocks over, so the opportunity is certainly there.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • Marie, all but the bee were taken with my Nikon and an 18-55mm lens. The bee was taken with my iPhone 5S. I used the Nikon photos because they’re sharper when I crop the photos to zoom in. However, almost all the other photos I use on my blog are taken with my iPhone. The new cameras have so many bells and whistles and I don’t know how to do much with it yet, but I can point, shoot and get the photo from the camera to my laptop and edit a/o publish it, so that’s good. 🙂

      It would be amazing to see the monarch migration! I’m just happy to see them around here as I know their numbers are much less now than they used to be, due in part to the decimation of their migratory homes in the south, Hopefully both they and the bees will make a strong comeback.


  7. Tina Schell says:

    Lucky you Janet! Love that last shot of the cardinal peeking through the leaves!

  8. Fabulous pictures! I agree it’s hard to capture a great shot, they just refuse to model, oh well it’s a lovely pastime. I would love a butterfly bush. 🙂

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