Fritillary Caterpillar and Butterfly

One of the fun side events caused by the gardening habit is the witnessing of nature's amazing works. Lately I've been seeing quite a bit of the fritillary butterfly in its various stages of growth.  It's probably the gulf fritillary butterfly but there are several different kinds in our area and even though I'm a plant person I'm not necessarily an insect person!  I found the orange with black spiked caterpillars on a passion flower vine in the back near our shed. The passion flower vine is one of several possible host plants for the fritillary butterflies.

I saw this next caterpillar hanging out on a wild white eupatorium that decided to plant itself in my self-sowing garden. It's a pretty wildflower but needs removed before it goes to seed or else it will be everywhere! (which it already is).

Then I found this cool display near my corner shade garden. This fritillary butterfly was just beginning to spread its wings.

It won't be long before this butterfly is flitting among the cosmos!