The first butterflies showed up here about a month ago, when the Lilacs were in bloom. Then the Ninebark came into flower, and the garden started buzzing. Soon after that the very fragrant Valerian joined them. It's been busy with various butterflies ever since, one of my favourite times in the garden here.
The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was one of the earliest to show up, and the largest I've seen yet. It likes the Lilacs, but here it is visiting the Valerian, just the other day.
The Red Admiral has been around several weeks too, looking just a little tattered.
This is our big Ninebark shrub, covered in masses of intricate white blossoms for about a week, and absolutely buzzing with bees, wasps and flies when it's at peak bloom. You can hear the entire shrub buzzing with hundreds of insects as you get close.
All the tiny pistils and stamens obviously have what it takes to attract insects. Of all the shrubs we have here, this is the best for pollinators.
This Little Wood-Satyr has spent a lot of time on the Ninebark blossoms.
This to me looks like a Pearly Crescent, though it's missing one antenna. I have to take a really close look at an enlarged picture of this and compare it to the one below to see the difference. (and there's an intermediate form too). I use the simple "Photo Field Guide to the Butterflies of Southern Ontario".
And here is the very similar Northern Crescent, perhaps the most tattered one I have ever seen still flying!
A healthier looking Northern Crescent.
The smallest of all these, though the picture makes it seem big, is the Spring Azure, a tiny butterfly that appeared just white to my eye. More butterflies to come; these are just about half of the species I've identified.