Southern California Flutterbyes~

Butterflies thrive in our warm climate.


Cloudless Sulfurs,

and Gulf Fritillaries are locals.

Swallowtails mating.


But the Monarchs are the show stoppers now.

They are a threatened species, so seeing them is a special treat.

Cheers to you from from the Southern California Flutterbyes~

205 thoughts on “Southern California Flutterbyes~

  1. Absolutely stunning butterfly collection, Cindy. Showstoppers, indeed. The lighting in your photos really enhances their beauty. The mating Swallowtail pair is something not often seen and photographed. Have you read Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior”. Here’s an NPR mention: Beautiful post, thank you for sharing your winged friends. Best, Babsje

    1. So kind and so truly appreciated my friend. Thank you. I haven’t read Kingsolver’s novel. It sounds intriguing and I am always looking for good new books, so thank you for the suggestion. I will check it out დ

      1. You’re welcome. Kingsolver is a national treasure IMO. Her novel “Prodigal Summer” is better than Flight Behavior, but lacks the Butterfly connection. Enjoy!

          1. Some isn’t my thing – a friend loved The Poisonwood Bible but I couldn’t get into it. I enjoyed High Tide in Tucson, a very early book with a scientific bent.

              1. For the life of me I still can’t understand why my friend liked Poisonwood. To each her own! We’re still good friends but don’t share books now.

    1. Yes. Thank you Wayne. You’re right. They are so similar and are the only two members of the same subfamily, danainae, present here. They both eat milkweed, carry the same toxins, and mimic each other to avoid bird predators დ

  2. Very beautiful butterfly photos, Cindy! I saw something on TV a while back about the Monarch’s winter destination in Mexico (I think) being torn down by drug lords. So disgusting!

  3. Such lovely creatures well captured, Cindy! Over here on the East coast, we are having one of the best years for monarchs in a long time. A few more good years might see this beautiful species off the threatened list. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

  4. Gorgeous captures Cindy, they are such beautiful artwork, yet so fragile and transient, I guess they will be all laying their eggs before they move into the next part of their cycle.

  5. Stunning photographs of beautiful butterflies, Cindy. I am looking forward to the arrival of butterflies here once summer finally decides to visit for a while.

  6. I love the pictures and might surprise you, when I tell you the yellow one, is my favorite. We call them “Zitronenfalter/Lemon butterfly.” I always thought they brought so much color into the green outside world.

    1. They are so beautiful aren’t they. Often they are hard to photograph because their color tends to wash out in bright sunlight. I love them too. I have photos of them lined up on a branch დ

    1. Oh, yes, we landscaped The Holler about 14 years ago and everything is a blooming attractor for bees, butterflies and birds. I encourage you to plant them. They are beautiful plants and the visitors are so beautiful too დ

  7. Hi, Cindy – wondrous!
    Reminded me of a younger first cousin who called them flutterbyes when she first learned to talk! Hadn’t heard the term in years, decades probably, but your flutterbyes are incredible! Cheers to you from South Carolina!

  8. Oh, Cindy, you must have the patience of a saint … and a silent camera! Whenever I see butterflies here, I always want to snap their picture, but they must “spook” at Monkey’s presence. Guess I’ll have to look for them when he’s otherwise occupied. Beautiful photos!

  9. So wonderfully beautiful! I have many flowers to attract them, but we don’t have the climate for such big beauties. Enjoyed this immensely. And I agree with others – it is a hopeless task to photograph them…are you hiding?

    1. Thank you so much Leya, very much appreciated. We too planted acres of attractive plants and it appears to be working. Some flutters are extremely flighty, while others are more mellow, just like people I guess! დ

        1. I’m sure scientists must have studied the patterns of their flying, landing and sampling, but to me they look like shoppers on a big sale day, picking up a bit of this, and a lot of that! 😉

  10. Flutterbyes are my favorite thing to watch. I love going to butterfly gardens. I took hundreds of photos at the one in Victoria BC when I was there, twice. 😉 I could have stayed all week. I planted for them too. Thanks so much for the beautiful photos.

  11. Doesn’t seeing a butterfly make everyone feel good? Your photos are the next best thing, Cindy. I was always told by my husband’s family from Pennsylvania, that it was the Pennsylvania Dutch who called butterflies ‘flutterbyes’. The phrase makes perfect sense.

  12. What a wonderful, whimsical name for these beauties! My five acres here in Ontario, Canada we call Butterfly Acres is filled with Monarchs every season for the last 24 years owing to our large population of milkweed that grows all on its own without any new plantings. We get the Swallowtails and Painted Ladies and lots of other little flutterbyes, too. Gorgeous photos!

  13. Beautiful butterfly photos Cindy. Years ago I went to a woodland in Santa Cruz where the monarchs were supposed to hang out, but there weren’t any! Seems the extra cold weather had sent them further south – very disappointing!

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