No Rabble This Summer

Last summer Atlantis fritillaries descended on my patch of chives in an orange and black cloud. An amazing sight.

This year? A grand total of two, only one of which I managed to photograph.

This is an odd summer for butterflies — last year they seemed to be everywhere. Now I’m lucky if I see one a day. Anyone else noticing changes?


Atlantis fritillary   Speyeria atlantis

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13 thoughts on “No Rabble This Summer

  1. I haven’t noticed much of a change in the butterfly population, but here there are far fewer hummingbirds this year. Last year in the evening I would see 15 – 20 hummers at my feeders; this year only 1 or 2.

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    1. How beautiful to see so many! When we had our feeders up we usually only saw 2 or 3. We gave up on the feeders because of the bears. Ditto for feeding the birds. We were concerned it would humanize the bears to the point where they’d amble into someone else’s yard and meet a sorry end.

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  2. I’m not sure what they are, but we’re at the other end of the spectrum. There have been clouds of little yellow and white butterflies (sulphurs, no doubt, for the yellow) and I’ve never seen so many swallowtails. There were noticeable monarchs moving through, and lots of hairstreaks and skippers. Part of it’s my new interest in them, I’m sure. But there have been far more than I remember seeing over the past few years.

    I suppose it’s the same with butterflies as with wildflowers. I went out to certain areas to find flowers that have been present the past two years, and there weren’t any at all. It’s always chancey!

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    1. It’s hard to say what is causing the decline — simply a blip in the weather? or the edges of climate change creeping in? habitat loss? pesticides? All or none or something else? Sorry to hear that you are losing numbers too.

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  3. They seem to be flitting through our property as normal, Sally. For a few years, bumble bees were absent and I worried. But they’ve been back enjoying our Lavender the last couple of years. Beautiful photo. –Curt

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    1. Strange times, Curt. Our bumblebee population seems okay, though down somewhat from last year. And lots of hover flies. Saw a few yellow jackets a few weeks ago — an unusual sighting as they tend to show up only later in the summer with a voracious attitude and appetite. 🙂

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      1. What a generous offer! Would that be by USPS or UPS? On second thought if I wait awhile our home-grown ones will be out in force. Ouch.

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    1. Interesting you should mention that Brian — winter 2015-2016 was unseasonably warm & dry in Alberta, Not much snow and little frost in the ground so spring came really early. This year we had more snow and deeper frost — more like a regular Alberta winter. Times are changing for sure. 🙂

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