Butterflies, Bees and Apples


Abundant crab apples!

 My mother-in- law has a crab apple tree in front of her apartment that was absolutely full this year!  The day we were there I was amazed to find butterflies feeding on the fruit that had fallen to the ground.  (We were in Southern Ohio only 12 miles north of the Ohio River.)

Red Spotted Purple

Andy and I spent a lovely late summer afternoon on the porch watching the butterflies and the world go by.

Red Spotted Purple in a crab apple tree

Some were in the tree but most spent their time feeding on the ground.  I found as long as my shadow didn’t fall over them they didn’t pay much attention to me.

Tawny Emperor

One even landed on me!   It took some detective work to find out the name of this butterfly.  I’m still not absolutely positive it is a Tawny Emperor so if you differ please comment.

Question Mark Butterfly

No, I’m not asking, that’s it’s name!  My husband said this photo looked like a painting.  No photoshop here!

Question Mark butterfly in crab apple tree

Do you know how to tell the difference between a butterfly and a moth?  One difference is that butterflies have “clubs” on the end of their antennae.  Very obvious in the photo of the Question Mark above.

This Red Spotted Purple is feeding on an apple under a leaf. Looks like it's standing on it's head.

It was a brilliantly sunny afternoon – light seemed to be shining through this Red Spottle Purple’s wings.

Red Spotted Purple

Red Spotted Purple and Tawny Emperor sharing an apple

 I did begin to wonder – where are the bees and wasps?  When I was a child you could not have gotten close to this much rotting fruit because of the Yellow Jackets.  The only bee/wasp I saw was this one…

Mystery bee - or wasp?

 If you know what it is please comment.  Also if you know what happened to all the Yellow Jackets.  Not that they are GREATLY missed.  I can remember some picnics where the Yellow Jackets swarmed around every trash can and picnic table.  You had to be careful that you didn’t drink one with your Mountain Dew or eat one with your watermelon!

Red Spotted Purple

The shadows lengthened as the sun went down and all the butterflies flew away.   The apples had already been claimed so we left them be for the butterflies to feed on another day.


About SallyK

A little blog about the ordinary and not so ordinary things our family does, places we travel, things we see. Like travel, cooking, family stories, book reviews, music? You will find it all here - comments welcome!
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