Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flower Hill Farm BUTTERFLIES OF 2011 ~ Favorite Eastern Black Swallowtail


Eyeing female depositing an egg on hidden Wild Carrot

A lucky sighting! A female  Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes (Fabricius), 1775 deposits an egg. 



1st and 2nd Instar

3rd Instar


4th Instar


5th Instar


Spinning thread and Letting Go!

Talk about a weight loss that many would envy . . . the Black Swallowtail evacuates its entire digestive system before becoming a chrysalis. Note how much smaller it is in the shots above . . . when comparing to the photographs of the caterpillar eating above it. 

Black Swallowtail Chrysalis cozy within a Monarch Community


SURPRISE! I thought this little creature would over-winter. 
                                                                                


What a joy it was to raise my very first  Black Swallowtail.

An added Joy to share it with you all again in a different way. 

This is a series of looking back over my favorite butterfly photographs of 2011. 

If you grow or live near any plants in the carrot family (Umbelliferae) you may find the eggs or caterpillars of the Black Swallowtail and learn more about these creatures by raising them yourselves. Of course, it is always better to observe them in their natural habitat. I confess I do feel guilty taking them from the fields or gardens but try to recreate their environment as close as possible.

Something Wild for Gail over at Clay and Limestone  . . . be sure to visit her gardens and see other wildflowers from around the country.

Metamorphosis is the perfect word for me this week Katarina! Skip over to Sweden for Blooming Friday


65 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Carol:

When such a wonderful creature flutters by in the heat of summer, one is completely unaware of all these miraculous stages in their development. Your photographs are stunning, each one giving us a glimpse of the hidden life of a butterfly and helping us to understand the life story of these most fabulous of creatures.

The Eastern Black Swallowtail is such an elegant butterfly. The markings are extraordinarily delicate and detailed and the vibrancy of the colours is breathtaking. How amazing that you raised this yourself, just marvellous!!

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,
Really enjoyed these collections of photos. I have also had great fun with this species and camera. Looking forward to seeing what elde you have!!

Giga said...

Pięknie to na zdjęciach pokazałaś. Nawet gąsienica motyla jest śliczna :-). Pozdrawiam. *** This beautifully showed us the pictures. Even the caterpillar of a butterfly is beautiful :-). Yours.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

My dear Carol,

THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for this glorious posting, which I call a "Carol's eye-view of the world." You need to do a book and I'll buy the first copy.

Sending warm love across the cold miles,

Sharon

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

special creature, having to go through distinct phases in short period of time.... and the beautiful part is to wind tread and let go... so real!

Cottage Tails said...

Your photos are as the nrom, stunning!
We need to plant more plants to bring in the different butterflies to our garden.

MariCrea said...

What a beautiful macro photography
hugs
Mari

AGATKA said...

sweet photos nice :))

Tammie Lee said...

you have done it again, bestowed upon us the magic of birth and beauty. thank you!

Patty said...

One of my favorites too. Wonderful photography, Carol.

ann said...

Your photos are so perfect.

Eva said...

Dear Carol~~I've associated you so long, now, with the Monarch, that I had forgotten when you posted these. And now, with your new form—collage, do you call it?—they're just so impressive. I had forgotten about the tiniest of eggs on the Queen Anne's Lace. Lovely reminders on these bleak January days.

OF SPRING AND SUMMER said...

Hi Carol,
I am sorry to hear that you have health issues. Thank you for your visit to my blog and your Holiday wishes. I hope your health is improving and that you will get your strenght back.
Your photography is amazing, fascinating to see the butterfly develope. You live in such a beautiful place.
Get better!!
Sending you best wishes and positive thoughts!
Lots of love,
xoxo Ingrid

Sarah Laurence said...

What a cool montage of butterfly shots! Thanks for bring some spring into this icy winter day.

Kathy Sturr said...

What a beautiful series. Once I picked some parsley to bring over to a camp on one of the islands, and when I went to wash it, discovered eggs. I was so deflated. I set the leaf out by some Queen Ann but I know better. Now, I always check my parsley (and other plants) before I harvest.

Rose said...

These are amazing photos, Carol! When I reached the end of the post, I saw your earlier one and had to see all the Monarchs as well--simply beautiful! One of my grandchildren's favorite things to do in my garden is to check for swallowtail catts on the fennel and dill. For some reason, I didn't have as many this year nor did we have as many butterflies as usual. Looking forward to a new season full of butterflies!

Carol said...

Thank you dear Jane and Lance! I was so delighted to find that egg! I had no idea what to expect. What a joy it was to get to know this tiny creature and then see it through its changes into a butterfly. I think we do not admire the process quite enough. Caterpillars are the heros of butterflies. Then of course the butterfly is majestic! Their metamorphosis is such a beautiful metaphor for life.

I just love this new reply button on blogger!!

Carol said...

Thank you Randy. I so admire your huge volume of butterfly photos and we all depend on your knowledge for identifying those lesser known flutterbys. I am not sure what you mean by elde.

Carol said...

Hello Giga! Thank you for commenting in your lovely Polish language too! Yes, the caterpillars are beautiful and such steadfast little critters.

Carol said...

Thank You dear Sharon! I only wish I had the eye-view that the butterflies have. I am working slowly on a book . . . thank you so much for the support! I hope you are feeling strong and not working too hard! Love back to you.

Carol said...

Thank you Bangchik and Kakdah! I love "wind tread." Butterflies do grow up fast! Within a couple of weeks or so . . . a caterpillar nourishes that part of itself that is meant to soar and builds a butterfly. Nothing could be more real and inspirational.

Carol said...

Thank you Cottage Tails! Yes we do!! These little guys are eating wild carrot (Queen Anne's Lace) here. They will also eat parsley, dill, carrot, fennel and more.

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,
Guess I'm famous for typos. Elde = else

Cally said...

Your wildlife photography is as beautiful as your garden. These photo's are really stunning (found you via Clay & Limestone).

I was wondering if you or your gardening readers might add your garden to Folia the online gardening website (it's free). I'm always looking to encourage more gardeners to join as it's the best garden site I've found in several years.

It's a great resource for gardeners and has helped me keep on top of my 800+ plantings with photo's, notes, journals, milestones etc. They have an extensive plant wiki and a seed stash section where people can also list seeds for swapping and see who else is growing the same plant around the world.

There are numerous groups available to join such as Vegetable growers, Wintersowers, Composting, Container Gardening etc.

Here's the link join and to access my own Folia pages www.myfolia.com/gardener/CDfolia/invite. (my member name is CDfolia). Hope to see you there.

Gillian Olson said...

This is another just awesome series. It is wonderful to see the life cycle so beautifully displayed in pictures. Thank you,

Carol said...

Thank you MariCrea!

Lea s Menagerie said...

Wonderful!
Lovely flowers!
Amazing photo series on the butterfly!
Lea

Gardens-In-The-Sand said...

How do you spot the eggs?
I was shooting butterflies in the garden yesterday, and it was all that I could do to see the butterfly through the view-finder...
Maybe it's my eyes, but I watch the butterflies make their deposits, and I can't see anything until the caterpillar hatches...
Are you using a magnifying lens? Maybe I need to try keeping one of those handy.

Gail said...

Something wild indeed! Those are incredible photos...I need, yes need to, visit your garden. xoxogail

Carol said...

Hello GinSand, Thanks for visiting. I guess I just have very good eyesight. This was the first time I found an Eastern Black Swallowtail egg. I would never have found if I had not eyed exactly where the butterfly was fastening it. Keep trying and good luck!

Carol said...

Thank you Lea!

Carol said...

Dear Gillian,
You are so kind . . . thank you! I am so glad that you enjoy the photographs.

Carol said...

Thank you Rose! I hope your gardens have hundreds of butterflies this year.

Carol said...

Thank you Kathy! Hopefully the little guys emerged from their eggs and delighted on the Queen Anne's Lace.

Carol said...

Thank you Sarah! I do love doing review posts this time of year. We all need a bit of spring in January.

Carol said...

Thank you Eva! Yes these are collages and fun to present the sequence of metamorphosis this way. I have raised hundreds of Monarchs over the years but this was my very First Eastern Black Swallowtail. It was amazing how much it changes from instar to instar. Very easy little one to raise.

Carol said...

Thank you for your continued support Ann!

Carol said...

Dear Patty, Thank you! I am happy you enjoyed these.

Carol said...

Thank you dear Tammie! It is so magical . . . and amazingly beautiful to watch.

Carol said...

Thank you Agatka!

Andrea said...

Hello Carol, i am a bit late here. Those photos are very vivid references for its development and life cycle. They can come as a book. That swallowtail is so beautiful, but i don't think i've already seen it in our area.

debsgarden said...

As always, visually stunning and a refreshment to the soul. Thanks, Carol, for putting together these photos!

Gunilla said...

Fantastic photos.

Very intresting, and you are a great photograf.

Have a nice weekend

Gunilla

Vilmantas said...

Amazing pictures! I love butterflies and started to think about how to atract them to my garden. Now i´m reading encyclopedia and trying to find out which plants I should plant to be more environmentaly and "butterfliely" friendly.

Carol said...

Thank you dearest Gail! Well, what is holding you up??? When can you visit? Since you are not going to Austria after all. ;>)

Carol said...

Hello Andrea! Thank you for your support dear friend.

Carol said...

Thank you so much Deb!! It gives me joy knowing you enjoyed my efforts.

Carol said...

Thank you so Gunilla!

Anette said...

Som vanligt är de bilder du förmedlar väldigt läckra. Om sommaren vill jag fånga fjärilslarver och se deras utveckling, trots att mina barn för länge sedan flydde boet. I sommar kommer jag att fotografera ännu mera.
Kram
/Anette

Carol said...

"As usual, the images convey very tasty. In the summer I want to catch caterpillars and watch their development, even though my children long ago fled the nest. This summer I am going to shoot even more.
hug
/ Annette"

Thank you Anette! It keeps us young to continue being enthralled with these magical processes. I look forward to seeing your new photos this summer!! Kram

Lena/isis said...

Wow ...what lovely pictures. And a very beautiful butterfly.

Lena/isis

Berit said...

WOW!!! Fantastic !!
Have a nice day!!

Lisa said...

Oh they are so beautiful and you catch them so well with your camera. I have never seen butterfly-eggs before, it was very exciting to follow your story. Thank´s for sharing ! Couldn´t be better matching with the theme.
Have a wonderful weekend ! Kram !
Lisa/Lisas trädgård

Annie said...

Another heart-felt "WOW" from me! What a magical journey. Your photos are fantastic!

Ingmarie We said...

I just love to visit your website! Always so intersting posts and fantastic photos. Butterflies are my favourites! We don't have so many different here in Sweden as you have........ I also liked your post about the bobcat very much.The photos were incredible.
Have a nice week.

AnnCharlotte said...

I just love your pictures...
Have a great weekend:)

Madame C said...

Wonderful pictures... as always! I love them! Thank you for sharing.
Charlotta

Charlotta said...

Wonderful pictures of your cute "bug" and the transformation to a beautiful butterfly.

Humlans Lott said...

Amazing!!!!! I love your photos!

Have a nice weekend!

The GIPSY in the PARLOUR said...

stunning images!!

joey said...

Amazing images and totally awesome post, Carol!

Gela said...

Stunning pictures!!!! Have a nice sunday/Gela

jeansgarden said...

Another amazing set of photographs, Carol. I think the Eastern Black Swallowtails are my favorite butterflies; I find that touch of blue among the black just irresistible.

I don't know if you've seen the Versatile Blogger award going around (or perhaps have already been so honored). Anyway, I've named you as one of my "versatile bloggers." You can learn more here: http://jeansgarden.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/versatility/

No Pressure on this; I am not offended at all if people choose to ignore these awards. -Jean

jeansgarden said...

Another amazing set of photographs, Carol. I think the Eastern Black Swallowtail is my favorite butterfly; I find those touches of blue among the black irresistible.

I don't know if you've seen the Versatile Blogger award going around (or perhaps have already been so honored). Anyway, I've named you as one of my "versatile bloggers." You can learn more here: http://jeansgarden.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/versatility/

No Pressure on this; I am not offended at all if people choose to ignore these awards. -Jean

RobinL said...

Oh how you have made me miss the butterflies in my garden! It feels like summer will never come back, even though it has been a mild winter.

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