Friday, February 10, 2012

Flower Hill Farm BUTTERFLIES 2011 ~ Eastern Tiger Swallowtails ~ Part Two

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly sipping Miss Kim Lilac blooms

For Part Two of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails Papilio glaucus, we find the tiger-striped butterflies swimming in purples, yellows and greens instead of in the pink as seen in my last post. 

St. Valentine surely might smile over these Tiger Swallowtail lovers flying and swirling about high into the sky beneath the robust Rock Maples. 

A perfect female Tiger Swallowtail. Note the blue markings . . . which make me believe it female

Frolicking about in Fields

I believe this to be a male Tiger Swallowtail

Female Drinking Comfrey Nectar

Each May and the early part of June, when the Korean lilacs and wildflowers bloom, I delight in the appearance of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies. Their animated beauty add a touch of magic to the fields and shrubberies. The way their beautiful wings catch the light is mesmerizing . . . akin to stained glass windows. 
Tiger Swallowtails do not have an easy time here with all the birds, especially Catbirds, who are raising their young. Alas! It seems the striking Swallowtails often become a sumptuous supper for them. I often see the butterflies flitting about with tatter gowns and sadly find mosaics of wings on the ground. I know it is just the food chain, but I do so feel for these lovely creatures too and just wish they were not so tempting, for there is plenty of other food about. It sounds silly but I do try reasoning with the Catbirds . . . but they never yield. Of course there is no reason to my argument . . . except my love of the butterflies.

Sending some Sweethearts to Sweden for Katarina

Next time my butterfly review of 2011 will feature the Fritillaries. 

This Saturday, my monthly post on Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens will feature the Bobcat as the third beast in my Flower Hill Farm Bestiary. My encounter will be retold with a new and surprising ingredient. Hope you can check it out!

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