Thursday, September 2, 2010

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

No matter how many times I see this gorgeous butterfly it never fails me stop me in my tracks. It is as wide as my hand, outstretched, and on this day last month it was suspended in flight in the native garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The way it flew seemed different from the anxious, restless hither and thither of the Black Swallowtails that have been visiting my terrace. It floated up as though it were a leaf lifted on a soft updraft, in slight puffs, then a suspension and a fall, then another puff upward.


I stood there all alone beneath it, in the middle of the huge borough of Brooklyn, bird calls all around, an occasional truck roar from the busy parkway on the other side of the berm, but immediately returned to peace by the resumed fluting of robins, cardinals, and unknown birds I have yet to see.

Eupatorium fistulosum (joe pye weed) grew feet above my own 6' head, bending over on its dark stems heavy with bloom. The butterflies were addicted to these. So were honey bees, which in their current scarcity were wonderful to see.


This is a lady Eastern Tiger Swallowtail: she has the blue. The male has only black. Ha! Perhaps she was more peaceful because she was only feeding, not looking for a safe place to lay her eggs. Perhaps that is what makes my Black Swallowtails so jittery. I don't think they think my parsley is good enough.

Plant some for your butterfly and bee garden...

13 comments:

  1. Not sure if the error is your end or mine, but I'm getting a "not found on this server" message, but no photos.It does appear to go to a Picasa album, but doesn't actually do anything!

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  2. Congratulations on getting chosen to be a finalist in 2 categories in the SA blog awards!! Good luck !!

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  3. Finally! A species where the girl gets to dress up. Gives me a new respect for the swallowtails in the garden.

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  4. The pix are not coming up on my screen either. Just that red x in a black box.

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  5. I'll have to add my voice to the broken links squad. . .

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  6. Well, that was annoying! I'm sorry about the blank butterflies, everyone - fixed now.

    Thanks, Mal - it's turning into a bit of a bunfight actually...Now they send an email saying, You can vote every 24 hours! For the same blog? So now you have to ask your readers to vote every day? &*^$^ that. I don't think so. - call me Jaded in Brooklyn

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  7. Dear Jaded In Brooklyn, I'll vote every day. Just think how many emails they will have to send out.
    Annoying In Arlington

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  8. Also had trouble with no photos but now it is OK. Your butterflies are gorgeous. The closest I have seen is that one from the summer before last, which, unbelievably, is still waiting in a plastic container - waiting for ........... it was Charaxis something I think. He was a real beauty and is still.

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  9. I like your description of how the Tiger Swallowtail flies! and lovely photos.

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  10. The butterfly pictures are truly magnificent. I am fine with voting daily. I click on The Animal Rescue site every day. It's easy. *smile*

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  11. Jane, don't you mean Annoyed in Arlington? I don't know - your kindness is ...humbling - yours too, Donatella. Frankly, I am embarrassed by the whole grasping business.

    Hen - yes, he/she was gorgeous. Sunbird feeder? (Lyn says honey is bad for sunbirds...)

    QC - thank you :-)

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  12. These things swarm all over the flowers in my front yard.

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  13. I know you're a rocket scientist, Keith, but must you call them "things"? :-)

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