Mona - I am finding an extreme lack of butterflies, moths and bees. Yesterday I had photographers out at our place to photo both butterflies and hummingbird moths. It was big nothing! The big plant attractants are Coneflowers, Bottlebrush Buckeyes and Button Bush. In over 6 hours we found maybe a few Tiger Swallowtails, one Spicebush, 1 Red spotted Purple, a few Hummingbird moths, and a general lack of bee activity. Normally all of the mints, Monarda's and the like are loaded with bees and butterflies. Nothing this year!
We are not close to any fields or wine growers (grapes) that spray excessively, so we are completely puzzled! We are seeing not many, but a few more Monarchs than any one species of Swallowtails, which this has never been. I believe we are early, but should we not be seeing the Cloudless Sulfurs now?
Even my wife, who does not keep track of these notes of nature, has commented twice in the last week....where are the butterflies!
I hope there is some delayed reaction but with certain plants that always have Swallowtails on them, it is very disturbing. Any thoughts? What is happening in metro WDC? I will be checking with a local entomologist that lives here in Rappahannock County tomorrow and get her reading on the subject!
Still no Pipevine.....lots of Milkweed awaits the Monarchs! (Mona's Note: This a 200 acre property with extensive plants of native plants for wildlife.)