Have you noticed the lightly wafting clouds of butterflies around town in the past few days? They are Painted Ladies, similar in color to, but smaller than Monarch Butterflies. All of the rain we’ve had this winter is causing wildflowers to bloom in abundance all over Southern California. More flowers, more nectar, more butterflies. Here’s a little more information at LAist.
I captured a bit of video on my street yesterday. Along with our native wildflowers, the Painted Ladies love the non-native Lantana with their tiny nosegays of brightly colored florets. If you get to 1:20 or so of the video, you can see the butterfly’s long tongue dipping into the center of each floret to reach the nectar. They are having a feast. Although spring officially begins on March 20 with the equinox, the ladies aren’t waiting around. As far as they’re concerned, spring has arrived.