NOT MANY BUTTERFLIES ~ I was looking at some empty milkweed pods when it occurred to me that I have seen almost no butterflies this summer. Fears about pesticides are coming true. This photo is from a couple of years ago. I was cutting musk thistle plants and came across this busy one. Bigger is better. (6/4/13 Peace Valley, Missouri)
SHARING A MUSK THISTLE are probably a great spangled fritillary on the left and a black swallowtail on the right. The beetle in the middle didn't identify itself. It is musk thistle seed production and dispersal season. They are so noxious--ruining pastures--that in Missouri they have legal status and landowners are required to rid their pastures of them, and can be prosecuted if they don't. Disposing of them is problematic. Consult a good source. Click. (6/8/13 Peace Valley, Missouri.