Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A November Butterfly?

We left town for a few days this past week, noticing a butterfly sitting on the concrete floor of the partially-heated garage before we left. When we came back three days later, it was still sitting on the floor, though moving only minimally. Puzzled as to why there was a butterfly in our garage while we have a thick layer of snow outside, I decided to feed the butterfly a bit of fruit. It started moving a bit more, enjoying the pears and pineapple. Who knew a Saskatchewan butterfly would enjoy tropical fruit? Last night, I moved it into the kitchen for the kids to watch. My four-year old drew a picture of it, complete with a large smiley face. It now is feasting on Ceres mango juice, lemon, and bananas.

Online searching found that it is a Compton tortoiseshell butterfly and it is known to overwinter as an adult in a protected space. I am wondering what they usually eat over the winter? If it survives past watching our Christmas decorating in the next few days, we'll have to figure out where it can spend the rest of the winter. Perhaps hidden away in the summer shoes on the top shelf of the garage? Hmmm.


Providence Acres Farm said...

How wonderful! What a special gift! A butterfly in the winter and a pet at that. It was indeed fortunate to find a home with a family that fed and cared for him/her.

Anonymous said...

How interesting! Each year we return to our cabin at Mitchell Bay to find large numbers (sadly) of these butterflies deceased in the space between the cabin door and screen door. Some years they succeed in their effort to get inside and there are many on the floor near the windows. I wonder why there are so many and why they have chosen our cabin. I've never seen larvae although we don't return until June at the earliest and assume we miss them. I have to admit it creeps me out a bit, imagining clouds of doomed butterflies. Thank you for your research, I'll continue with it and maybe we can give them a winter home that they can actually get out of in the spring.

Anonymous said...

We have a fly that got in the house in November, and is still living with us, Jan 4, he heee, darn thing, cant swat it, its becoming a member of the family, My research tells me they live 2 months, so it is a very senior citizen now.

Nadezda said...

Hi, your butterfly in the garsge is lovely,
your flower-bed with stones I liked!


Nadezda said...

I faved your blog!
Welcome to mine:
Northern Exposure Gardening