Where I live in western North Carolina, the ground is covered with an icy white blanket that makes it seem like spring it a long way off. Of course, with March just around the corner, this isn’t true at all. Last week’s Puzzler however was a pair of butterflies resting on a daisy, something we likely won’t see for a few months yet, even if spring IS on the way.
I took this picture along the Blue Ridge Parkway last summer, having discovered these butterflies in the wild space next to one of the many parking lots. I love this famous roadway for its views, but also for the many “tiny wonders” I so often find in the places few people seem to notice.
These are Great Spangled Fritillaries. The upside-down one is the female–females are larger than males and have slightly darker coloring. You can attract these lovely butterflies to your yard by planting such flowers as milkweeds, thistles, violets, ironweed, dogbane, mountain laurel, verbena, vetch, bergamot, red clover, joe-pye weed, and purple coneflower.
Here is the Next Weekly Puzzler.