I’m so excited! This is the first time I’ve ever seen a Red Admiral butterfly. I had installed a solar powered fountain in the pond only minutes before when this little guy came to visit and take a drink. After that, he spread his wings on the sun warmed rocks and I was able to get a good look.
I hope he hangs around for a while…I’ll try to capture better photos if I see him again.
The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) has much more black than the Monarch. It has a black upper forewing with a bright, diagonal red-orange band across it and spots of white on the tips. It also has a red marginal band on its hindwing and the underside is a mottled brown.
I found a poem about this butterfly and had to share. I wasn’t able to learn a lot about the poet, David Wood, but I certainly do like his poems!
Sonnet 68: Red Admiral
Patrolling small stretches of the hedgerow
Like a silent sentry on guard duty,
Other butterflies they will overthrow;
The Red Admiral, nature’s real beauty.
Seen fluttering throughout summers hot days
From buddleia to Michaelmas daisies,
And sheltering from the suns golden rays,
All the people will sing of their praises.
But they cannot survive the winter’s cold
Their life is all too brief, a crying shame:
Alas none of them will ever grow old
Their short life is all part of nature’s game.
Their beauty we cannot take for granted
For they are delicately enchanted.