Temperature fluctuations have encouraged creatures not normally seen in the gardens of Valley View to stop and share the garden’s mid-autumn bounty.
One such creature new to the gardens is the Milbert’s Tortoise Shell butterfly, (Nymphalis nilberti)
This butterfly lives in wet meadows and swampy edges of deciduous forests. It can be found coast to coast in Canada and the northern United States, in mountains south to West Virginia. It can be spotted on warm winter days, spring and summer. *
October 31st was a relatively warm day. We’ve had a few killing frosts so the only flowers still in bloom are mums and Alyssum. Nectar feeding insects frequent these flowers. Also the gardens are at the edge of an Eastern Broadleaf forest, with a spring seep directly across from the gardens. A perfect day and perfect habitat for this butterfly to appear!
*from National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders