Since their wings are continually caught by the wind, they are constantly fluttering, rarely staying still. For this reason, they have been hard for me to capture on camera.
Still, there have been at least three different types of swallowtails in my garden this past week:
When I saw this, I was thrilled! Anytime a big black butterfly catches my eye, I'm excited. And this one has little dots on its body - adorable!
I always stand very still, like I would if it were a bird. I'm not certain if that helps, but I still stand stiff and motionless, which isn't easy because the adrenaline starts pumping! A black butterfly on a white flower - very showy!
Not sure, but I believe this is the Eastern Black Swallowtail. He's attracted to carrots and parsley, and his range is from Southern Canada, along Rockies into Arizona and Mexico, then east to the Atlantic. Queen Anne's Lace is a host plant.
On the same day, at the same time, this yellow beauty caught my eye. Larger than the black one, I instantly turn my focus to it. It took a long time for me to get a picture of it with its wings open.
But finally I did. Yum - that hydrangea must have tasted good. Or, its big blooms were the only flowers large enough to support the butterfly while it rested.
This is the Tiger Swallowtail. It's range is from Central Alaska and Canada to the Atlantic, southeast of Rockies to the Gulf. This is the male. The female is black with blue markings. It has a great variety of host plants, mostly of broad-leafed trees and shrubs.
Hey, big boy, let's get a closer look at you!
Don't be shy - closer!
I could see this butterfly from far, far away. Big. It was very big. And it was windy that day. The poor thing was being tossed around like a paper airplane. But it was spectacular. Too bad it couldn't seem to land on the butterfly bush that was also getting whipped around by the wind. I don't think the butterfly bush's bloom could support this big butterfly anyway. It flew away before I could get a better picture. Which was probably for the best. I was about to faint from holding my breath!
This is the Giant Swallowtail. And it was giant! It's one of North America's largest butterflies. Known as the "Orange Dog" to citrus growers, it is subjected to spraying as a citrus pest because the caterpillar feeds on various citrus trees. That's so sad. :(
I don't have any citrus trees for him, but I hope he'll come visit my garden again soon!
Others have had some amazing butterfly posts lately. So, One, I am not in the "kiasu" competition. I just happened to see some butterflies!