The sunflowers made a beautiful yellow glow behind the blooms where the insects opted to land. This Buckeye’s colors were a nice match.
There were grasshopper type insects of several varieties and sizes. This fellow was at least four inches (ten centimeters) from head to tail and could easily leap into the next aisle of the labyrinth in a flash.
Several smaller butterflies, perhaps this is some type of skipper, were around inspecting the flowers.
There were some larger butterflies, I believe this is a Monarch. I was quite surprised that with all these insects I didn’t see any birds within the labyrinth looking for their own lunches.
I don’t know what this plant is but an assortment of butterflies and other insects were attracted to the puffy blooms.
The tufts from the flower heads made me think of thistle but the rest of the plant did not, with no sharp spines in sight.
This little yellow one was the smallest flying insect I saw. The bloom he picked had more of a purple tinge than the others, prettier or tastier perhaps.
The butterflies were all doing the same reaching into the tops of the flowers so they must have been getting something.
This patch was two to three feet deep (0.5 – 1 meter) and ran along the edge of a pond. I could not see over the top from the mowed lawn where I was standing; I resisted getting closer due to the potential for alligators to be hidden in the greenery.
This butterfly was flitting along the trail, first ahead of me then behind me, not quite landing in a pose that I was hoping for.
I finally got his full open wings showing off the shimmery blue and then just a peek of the underside. There was a pretty stiff breeze blowing when he landed on this leaf and he was fighting to stay put.
These flowers look awful small to offer much to a butterfly but this one persisted, moving steadily from flower to flower. The lack of leaves on this plant gave me a clear view.
He rotated and showed me every side while he was doing it.
Even upside down!
He easily walked across the tops of the flowers.
And hung off the side.
I believe the plant is Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiliensis), a non-native plant that grows wild along roadsides, in disturbed areas, old fields. (NameThatPlant.net, A storehouse of information about native and naturalized plants of the Carolinas and Georgia.)
I’ve seen a few Gulf Fritillaries around as recently as last week. In September they were everywhere you looked. These images were taken on the Morris Island end of Folly Beach where they were cavorting around in the flowers growing in the sand.
Although they fly about independently, if one butterfly finds something good another will soon follow.
They seemed OK at sharing if there were two vying for the same spot, and can hardly push each other around the way birds might do.
September 9, 2017, Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve.