Monday, August 30, 2010

Mellow Yellow Butterfly Summer

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, sipping a little lavender nectar.
(Click pictures to enlarge)

"Bees sip honey from flowers and hum their thanks when they leave. The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him." ~ Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
Tiger swallowtail butterflies regularly visit the lantana and lavender for nectar around our house. They are larger than the black swallowtail and fly high into the trees of the preserve. Host plants for the caterpillars are primarily trees and shrubs such as the tulip tree, sweet bay, wild black cherry, ash, lilac, aspen, birch, or choke cherry and we don't have any in our yard, but at least one of these trees should be out in the preserve. After the experience with fennel and black swallowtails, I'm glad we don't have the host plants.

August is "butterfly month" Posted by Picasa

This has been a bumper year for butterflies here. Perhaps the heat, perhaps planting the flowers.. who knows exactly why, but there have been at least ten different varieties of butterflies in our yard... sometimes all at the same time. I love to sit on the deck and watch as two or three flit and dance together in mid-air or tease me by flying around my head. Unbelievable beauty in such a delicate package. Amazing!

(end of post)



Joanne Olivieri said...

Exquisite shots. The butterfly is just gorgeously detailed

Scarlet said...

Absolutely beautiful shots! Your photos are works of art!
Of course you had such beautiful subjects to work with it would've been hard to take a bad shot!

fini said...

It's pretty hard to find butterflies in my garden..I really envy you..
You captured it beautifully :)

Julie said...

Such wonderful detail you have captured here. They always futter off or close up when I want to capture a butterfly. Good shots here today.

kenju said...

Wonderful photos, as usual. We have seen more butterflies this summer than in the past ten summers!

My trees are full of caterpillars, as evidenced by all the caterpillar poop that falls on the deck everyday...ew

Sandra said...

we had a bumper year also. we have never had so many at one time in our yard, and we have lived here 20 years. we like to sit and watch them dance, they are so graceful. one time only, we were eating lunch and i said LOOK, there are 3 sets dancing. we both went to the door to watch them, 6 swallowtails, our are the giant ones and look a little different than these, they were  putting on a wonderful ballet for us. i did not open the door and try for a shot, we did not want them to fly away and besides dancing butterflies do not capture on photos very well.
i enlarged the first photo all the way to 200 percent, he is incredible to look at.

Beverly said...

Those are beautiful photos.  all your work in the garden paid off bountifully, didn't it.

Ginny Hartzler said...

Really sharp, beautiful pictures. I'd love to come to your yard with a camera!

Col said...

Such amazing photos of some very beautiful butterflies.

Michelle from Rambling Woods said... I know why we have eastern tiger swallowtails here as there is everything they need at every stage....they love the spring lilacs around the deck....