Friday, July 26, 2013

Flutter By, Butterfly

We have all kinds of flying creatures up here and it's been fun to discover the new ones as our first year here passes.  Lately we've been noticing the butterflies.  We haven't been trying to identify them, but we have been enjoying them.  This past week we seem to be inundated with this small, yellowish ones fluttering among the pines.  

I hope you can catch sight of the little things in the small video size I seem stuck with on the blog.  I am trying to upload from YouTube rather than my computer, so maybe that will help. They're quite charming and enjoyable to watch as they move about up there. We hadn't been able to get a good look at them until I found about a dozen floating in the Beastie Grrrlz swimmy pool.

They're wings are quite white with black tips on top, but they look as though they're a buttery yellow from underneath when they're fluttering in the trees.

Luckily, I was able to get all but one out and drying off on the deck rail. I don't know if any or all survived, but I saw a few fly off and none were left on the railing half an hour after I set them up there.  The pools was getting filled with wasp and ant carcasses as well as pine cone parts from a squirrel tossing them down from the tree above, so I drained it to save the butterflies.

Speaking of yellow and black flying creatures, two weeks ago Eric, the BGs, and I either went through or too-close to a yellow jacket* nest while walking through the forest to the creek.  Eric was first and came through un-stung; he was with Delia who pooped on the "trail."  I came next with Betty and thoughtfully picked up a stick to push the poop off of the "trail."  That seemed to be the final straw: Betty and I were set upon.  Thankfully, I was wearing long socks and while it felt like dozens of stings between my ankles and knees, I ended up with only seven (7) or so real welts.  I don't know how many stings Betty got on the underside of her body and on her legs, but she seems to be allergic and by the time we got home her pretty face was swelling up.  We got her some benedryl, but it took overnight for it to completely reduce her swelling.

Poor Ms. Betty!
Her face was not stung, but it did swell up and looked like she had marbles under her skin from the stings on her legs and possible chest and tummers.

Delia got a few stings, too, but the cool water of the creek seemed to fix her right up.  I think it helped me quite a bit, too.

*FUN FACT! Stevensville, the town just south of ours in the Bitterroot Valley, is the Home of the Fighting Yellow Jackets.


  1. Aw, poor Betty! Supposedly, a baking soda / water paste eases the sting, both for humans and fur-people- but a few beers really seemed more effective for me, the last time I tangoed with a nest. Your little butterflies are called "sulphurs" around here- they're a version of the cabbage butterflies, but they're a pine pest, here in the mountain states.
    BTW, there is another wasp to look out for, in the mountains- they're like an oversized, black-and-white yellowjacket- if you spot one, and you can, kill it. If you spot a nest, RUN. They're about 100x worse than the yellowjackets, and they EAT MEAT. (And they're not picky about it being ALIVE.)

    1. I tried the baking soda on me and it worked enough. We were also told that household ammonia helps really well.

      A friend found this informative site about the butterflies:

      Seems like the mountains have a nice corner on the flying biters market! GAH! Luckily we have minimal mosquitoes at our house.

  2. I could see the butterfly :) I was just thinking the other day I hadn't seen them like I use too adn then I saw one in our backyard. Not as many as you're seeing though. That's cool. Yeah for saving them. And poor B. She's all puffed up.

    1. We also had quite a few monarchs or something like them pass thru a few weeks ago! And several other pretty, smaller butterflies and moths.

  3. The butterfly's sure are pretty, but poor Buu's face wasn't when it was all swollen up. Sad puppy, and she still looks like she's smiling :)


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