Butterflies!

No, not the kind you get when someone suddenly asks you to lead the group in prayer.  I mean the “yard bling” type – those impossibly wispy, fairy creatures who flit into our lives each summer.  As if flowers weren’t gorgeous enough, it’s like God said, “hmmm… I can top that!”  We have many, many flowering trees and perennials in our yard, and we used to have dozens of butterflies each summer.  About 5 years ago we had a freak late frost that killed them off, and they never really bounced back… until this year!  We are back in butterfly business, and I just had to get out there and take a few portraits today.

The butterflies are really loving the Lantanas and the Agastaches we have throughout the yard.  If you are looking for full-sun, deer-proof, hardy perennials for your yard, I can highly recommend Lantana “Miss Huff”, Agastache “Acapulco Orange”, Agastache “Blue Boa” and Agastache “Summer Sky”.  They are beautiful, easy to grow, bloom from Spring thru the first frost, and they attract butterflies!

Two female Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (one "dark type" and one "yellow type") on Agastache "Summer Sky".

Two female Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (one “dark type” and one “yellow type”) on Agastache “Summer Sky”.

One female (dark) and one male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Agastache "Summer Sky".

One female (dark) and one male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Agastache “Summer Sky”.

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Agastache "Summer Sky" and a bonus bee!  I love the detail in this photo!!!

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Agastache “Summer Sky” and a bonus bee! I love the detail in this photo!!!

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (dark type).  All dark types are females.

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (dark type). All dark types are females.

The underside of a dark type female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

The underside of a dark type female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

A female yellow-type Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Lantana" Miss Huff".  The females have more blue tipping on the bottom of their wings.

A female yellow type Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Lantana” Miss Huff”. The females have more blue tipping on the bottom of their wings.

A male yellow type Eastern Tiger Swallowtail - you can see that he only has a few blue tips to his wing (down low).  All males are the yellow type.

A male yellow type Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – you can see that he only has a few blue tips to his wing (down low). All males are the yellow type.

Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Agastache "Blue Boa".

Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Agastache “Blue Boa”.

Female on Agastache "Blue Boa".  See how her blue wing tips go all the way to the middle of her wings?

Female on Agastache “Blue Boa”. See how her blue wing tips go all the way to the middle of her wings?

This boy is a little tatty, but I love his jaunty "eyebrows"!  I also love the detail on the Agastache "Blue Boa" blossoms.

This boy is a little tatty, but I love his jaunty “eyebrows”! I also love the detail on the Agastache “Blue Boa” blossoms.  You can see that they are much “fluffier” and thicker than normal for an Agastache – like  a feather boa.  Hence, the name I guess.

Agastache "Blue Boa" - easy to grow, showy blooms, and makes a nice, dense mound spring thru fall.

Agastache “Blue Boa” – easy to grow, showy blooms, and makes a nice, dense mound spring thru fall.  DId I mention it also attracts butterflies?  I did?  Good.

This girl also looked a little beat up.  She was all by her lonesome on a Lantana "Miss Huff" in the back garden.

This girl also looked a little beat up. She was all by her lonesome on a Lantana “Miss Huff” in the back garden.

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