"May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sunThis is the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. We saw only a couple of these this summer as they paused to drink from the lantana and the butterfly bush. Flying horses... or zebra.. the black and white stripes are very distinctive even when they only land on a flower for mere seconds. I noticed that the hind wings were not as open and on display as those of their cousins, the black swallowtail or the eastern tiger swallowtail; this made them a bit triangular and by keeping the hind wings together, they reveal only a splash of red. Our area is prime for these, being near the Great Dismal Swamp and with woodlands. The caterpillars eat primarily leaves of the paw-paw and I haven't seen one around here... so, the paw-paw is on my list of plantings adjacent to the preserve. Hopefully, these will become more frequent visitors. By the way... the flowers in the first picture are Asclepias tuberosa, orange butterfly weed.
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond."
~ Irish Blessing
Today is my mother's birthday! She is 82 years young and if the weather holds as nice as it is, I hope to take her to the botanical garden tomorrow morning. She has been watching our Monarchs emerge from their chrysalides for the last week... everyday asking.. "How many have you birthed today?" Watching the process is amazing for any age.
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