In our mid-September post we asked Can You Spot the Monarch in the Crowd? The great news is that a few are being spotted here now! In our yard we saw two the first of October and two more yesterday. The photo below shows a monarch on a Georgia Aster, both stunning beauties in need of your help.
Monarch Butterfly on Georgia Aster
While the egg and caterpillar stages of the monarch are restricted to milkweed (the Monarch’s only host plant), adults require other flowers to feed on. Some great fall blooming pollinator-friendly plants are Georgia Aster, Goldenrod, Black-eyed Susan, native Sunflower and Pineapple Sage. 
Georgia Asters bloom in October and November providing food for pollinators. They are perennials with woody stems up to 3 feet tall, have thick, dark green leaves and purple flowers ranging from dark purple to lavender-violet to dark reddish purple.
Native Bee on Georgia Aster
The Georgia Aster is suffering in the wild due to its small, isolated populations and having its natural environment disturbed by humans.  Only 146 populations are estimated to remain. 
We photographed several butterflies this past month and had fun trying to identify them all. It’s difficult for us to tell the difference between the Cloudless and the Clouded Sulphur butterflies, so we just labeled them Sulphur. The same is true with the Skipper; there are many of them and while we think this is a Southern Skipper, we’re just not entirely sure. We were also very excited to see the first Monarch of the season! Hopefully there will be more.
American Chestnuts getting a head start at the Atlanta History Center
Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Canadian Geese on the South Fork
Great Blue Heron in the Kudzu on the South Fork
Mallards on the South Fork
Red-spotted Purple on apple tree (host plant)
Juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Pileated Woodpecker at the Atlanta History Center
Magnificent White Oak in Peachtree Park – 16′-9″ circumference