This past winter was one of the warmest on record here in New England. Snow was minimal and temps were above normal for long stretches of time. As spring approached, I couldn’t help but wonder how this unusual shift in climate would affect the arrival of butterflies and dragonflies to Cape Ann.
Mother Nature is a fickle lady. As winter rolled into spring, the weather roller coaster had long left the gate.
Let The Games Begin!
It all began with a severe drought from the lack of snow and minimal rain. Next, our warm winter temps turned upside down and below normal temps took hold for the month of June. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way with back-to-back heat waves — and there’s another one on the way! No wonder my winged friends and garden plants are confused. I know I am!
Will Butterflies and Dragonflies Come?
My garden is my testing ground. I have a protected wetland brook that runs through the back of my property. For the last few years, it has proven to be the perfect breeding ground for dragonflies. Last summer my yard resembled a miniature airport. There was a constant stream of takeoffs and landings as numerous dragonflies continually circled overhead eyeing my plants.
Butterflies of all shapes, sizes and colors shared the airspace and landing zones as well. A wonderful subject was never too far away for me to photograph. This year, however, I wondered. Will they come?
Indeed they will.
While the population is much smaller than last year — thus far — I have seen growing activity from both butterflies and dragonflies. I’m hoping the weather for the months of July and August will be a bit more normal and consistent, bringing both my garden and winged visitors to life in full swing.
There are many plants still yet to flower, and summer is still young. If May and June taught me anything, it’s that Mother Nature loves to change her mind. Anything is possible!
I am hopeful and patient. As you can see by these shots, my patience has begun to pay off.
For tips on photographing visitors to your garden, check out my article “Shooting Tips From The Bug Whisperer.”
Happy 4th of July!
~ Liz Mackney