Friday, November 7, 2014

A Queen Visits My Garden

A Queen stopped in

 to visit my garden recently.

A Queen butterfly, that is.

Queen butterflies, Danaus Gilippus

are cousins to the Monarch butterfly.  

Queens and Monarchs 

share a striking resemblance,

though Queen butterflies

have a darker brown ground color.

Queens are moderately large butterflies 

with a wing span of close to three inches.

Common to the southern US, 

Queens are frequently seen here in Austin

and like to feed on milkweed and 

the nectar of many flowering plants.

This visitor seems to like

the blue mistflower blooms.

Unlike the Monarchs, 

Queens do not migrate long distances, 

but rather travel to closer destinations with dry conditions.

Male and female Queens 

share the same markings except that

the male has a a dark scent-pouch 

on its dorsal hind wings.

As you can see in the photo above, 

it was a male visiting my garden.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. That is darling Sarah! I loved this post and photos!

  2. Wow- He is beautiful, Sarah. I don't think I have ever seen one of those. We didn't see more than 2 or 3 butterflies all summer long. That is so disappointing. I hope they are not all going to die out from all the spraying they do around here. xo Diana

  3. This lovely post caught my eye....I was teaching my littlest (4) about how a caterpillar forms a chrysalis just yesterday!! Too funny! Beautiful photography.

  4. G'day Beautiful Thanks for coming and sharing at our #SayGdayParty Please make sure to revisit if you haven't already and say G'day to the hosts and another person at the party Pinned Cheers! Joanne What's On The List? Sharing is Caring!

  5. Hi Sarah, I don't think I've ever seen a Queen. I have seen a large number of what I thought were Monarchs fluttering by the field by my Potting Shed in the past couple of weeks! I have to take a closer look next time :)

  6. Queens are always invited to our garden but not many are spotted here. Have a nice week-end.
    JM, Illinois

  7. Sarah, what lovely photos of the Queen visiting your garden. We usually see a lot of butterflies here, a lot of them monarchs I think. My sister traveled years ago to visit the migrating monarch in the hills near Mexico City. I always try to have flowers in the beds for butterflies and hummingbirds.
    Have a great Saturday.......

  8. Thanks for the explanation of the difference between monarchs and queens, Sarah. What fabulous photos you took of the Queen butterfly!
    Happy weekend to you and may it be filled with more butterflies.

  9. Feels like a wonderful gift when things like this happen doesn't it?

  10. Nice when the queen stops by for a visit. I have had a few this summer, but not one like this.

  11. Beautiful! Love the photos you got and also such great info on this amazing butterfly! Have a great weekend!

  12. Loved learning about the Queen butterfly. What a delight to photograph this particular male and share with us.

    I keep forgetting to make it a priority to plant milkweed to attract butterflies. Your garden is lovely. Would love to see more.

    I plan to share your post with several of my garden club friends. Thanks, Sarah.

  13. I would have guessed this to be a Monarch so you have shown me something new. Now I'm wondering if the butterflies I thought to be Monarchs actually were. One thing I do know is they have become fewer in number.

  14. Dearest Sarah,
    What a regal visit by this large Queen butterfly! They always make us happy isn't it?
    Sending you hugs and blessings for the weekend.

  15. Very pretty! We hardly had any butterflies this year and no monarchs. I wonder if all the pesticides people use on their lawns are killing them off?

  16. Oh it is beautiful Sarah! Great capture!

  17. Just lovely, Sarah. Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing this special moment with us. We didn't get a lot of butterflies in our DC garden this season - a bit unusual and disappointing.
    Happy weekend,

  18. Such sweet beauty, Sarah! Happy Pink Saturday!

  19. How sweet your visitor! I didn't know the difference.
    Thanks so much for the beauty and the information.

  20. How pretty! I don't think I've seen or heard of Queen butterflies before now. Thanks so much for the nature lesson. I just looked online to see their range and I think here in Georgia, we might be a little far north, but I'll watch for them next year..just in case.

  21. What a beauty! You know your butterflies! I am wondering what he has landed on, I've never seen anything like this.

    Your sunshine looks wonderful 37, cold and dreary here!

    Jane xx

  22. Jane, the flower is blue mistflower. I've added it to the text. Thanks for asking.

  23. Wow I didn't know about the Queen butterflies. Your pictures are beautiful. We didn't see many butterflies here this year.

  24. Hello Sarah,

    Your link got in just fine. Sometimes, it takes awhile 'cause someone else is linking in at the same time.

    I love the blue mistflower too. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a Happy Blue Monday!

  25. The loveliest thing I have seen today! thanks for sharing...a cold front JUST blew in and all my lovelies will be gone by 8 PM as our temperatures tumble to the teens!

  26. I love butterflies but you shared a wealth of knowledge here. Thank you and also thank you for the lovely photos. Have a happy week! Hugs, Anne

  27. Oh Sarah, we are butterfly lovers. We are attending a conference on butterflies soon. Lovely photos!!

  28. So beautiful....I never knew that about the butterflies.

  29. Bonjour,

    J'aime la délicatesse de ce papillon. La présence des papillons apporte une telle quiétude qu'il est très plaisant de les observer...
    Merci pour ces magnifiques photos.

    Gros bisous ☂

  30. How wonderful that you still have flowers and living creatures floating about!! We are in a total deep freeze here as of yesterday. It's just awful! WAY too early for any of this!

    You must know a lot about butterflies to recognize this as a Queen. I wouldn't know one from another! She's beautiful!

  31. I don't get butterflies in my yard very often anymore.

  32. Dearest Sarah,
    What a lovely post and indeed the Monarchs are incredible for making that long journey!
    We have visited the place in Mexico where they migrate to and that is unreal.
    Sending you hugs and wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to both of you.
    Thinking about you around Thanksgiving, in regard to your dear Mom.


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.