October’s journal is in two parts: photos from the neighborhood, followed by photos of wildlife from Jekyll just after hurricane Matthew.
We’ve been seeing Monarchs in our yard all month. One stayed and visited flowers for most of one afternoon. This Monarch was so pristine we speculated that perhaps it had just morphed out. There were many Monarchs on Jekyll as well, which was most encouraging.
Monarch butterfly on Georgia Aster
We arrived on Jekyll on October 12, two days after the island was re-opened and five days after hurricane Matthew hit. While the island sustained a fair amount of damage, things were in better shape than we had feared. And we were encouraged that wildlife seemed to have made it through. Also, very glad to see that the magnificent Live Oak in Brunswick known as Lover’s Oak, which is said to be over 900 years old, made it through as well.
Deer on the north end of Jekyll
Sulfur and Gulf Fritillary
adult Bald Eagle
juvenile Bald eagle
Gulf Fritillaries on Bottlebrush
Lover’s Oak – Brunswick, GA 
Green Darner dragonfly
Florida Softshell Turtle on Horton Pond
Carolina Chickadee with signs of leucism 
Wood Storks and Roseate Spoonbills near the toll booth
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
News Flash! Monarch butterflies have started their amazing migration south and they should be coming through Georgia about now. Monarchs have gotten lot of press recently and people everywhere are pitching in to help them out.
Every time we see an orange butterfly, we think (hope actually) that it’s a Monarch. But we’re often fooled by at least three other orange butterflies that resemble the Monarch: the Viceroy, Gulf Fritillary and Queen.
To help us keep them straight, we put together this graphic:
As you can see, the Viceroy looks the most like a Monarch. The horizontal black stripe near the bottom of the wing (circled in yellow) is the biggest clue that you are looking at a Viceroy, not a Monarch. This mimicry is by design to enable the Viceroy to fool predators into thinking it is a Monarch which is toxic.
This graphic also appears on our page Orange Butterflies so you can bookmark it for future reference. Keep your eyes peeled for all of these beautiful butterflies.