Out the Back Window – Butterflies and Basil

by Jim and Melanie

I have a small garden plot next to the house where I raise tomatoes, pole beans, rhubarb, zinnias, peppers, and most important, basil. I let the basil get a little out of control and noticed it was flowering a lot. One sunny day, some winged visitors were there enjoying the basil flowers and the warm sun. I took a few pictures. I couldn’t identify them and later forgot about them. In browsing through those pictures, I came across this one from that day.

At the time, my uneducated guess was that it was a Monarch or Viceroy. They can be confusing since they look a lot alike. I found two good pictures of the Monarch and Viceroy species. Can you see the difference in their markings. Notice the line across the rear part of the wings on the Viceroy. The creature in my photograph above is clearly not either. What is it? If you know, please comment below.

Now for the tasty stuff. The reason we raise basil is, of course, to make pesto. What wonderful stuff. We tried several different versions of the recipe. Some ingredients were different in each. Finally, we settled on our own version that is simple and uses walnuts. If you want to try it yourself, try our recipe.

I think you will be glad you did. We reach into the freezer any time and pull out frozen basil cups for all kinds of uses. One of our favorites is pesto pizza. What a treat!


15 thoughts on “Out the Back Window – Butterflies and Basil

  1. shoreacres

    I love pesto but I’ve never made it – partly because I’ve never had even a sprig of fresh basil around. I’m going to look at the farmers’ market this weekend and see if there might be some there. If there is, I’ll give this a whirl (so to speak!)

    I think your butterfly might be a fritillary. There are many – here’s a photo of one species.

    1. Jim in IA Post author

      I think you are right about the butterfly. Thanks.

      Yes, the farmers’ market should have some basil. I hope they don’t price it like gold. Although, it is about the same stuff. Don’t worry about the exactness of the recipe. You can be off some and still get a great result. Enjoy!

      Thanks for stopping by this morning. Have an interesting day.

  2. Alex Autin

    Who’s the photographer in the house? Great capture! (And I know how difficult a shot like that is, takes patience!) I knew about the difference between the monarch and the viceroy, but have no idea what type you visitor is. If you still haven’t figured it out, I’m sure these folks can help….


    1. Jim in IA Post author

      Well, I do most of the outdoor ones. Melanie takes a lot of them for her quilt galleries and new blog . She just started it and has had a great response in only a couple of weeks. Patience is definitely key. Ask Steven at Portraits of Wildflowers.

      Someone suggested the butterfly was a fritillary. Seems correct.


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