Sunday, November 11, 2007

Swallowtail in the Garden

Western Swallowtail, Papilio rutulus
Handbook of Nature Study pages 301-304

This is an old photo of a Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly that we from time to time have in our garden. The size of this particular butterfly makes it an easy target to watch. We planted butterfly bush in our yard many years ago and have found that it attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds to our butterfly garden. We have a two purple ones and a white one.

Page 301
“This graceful butterfly is a very good friend to the flowers, being a most efficient pollen-carrier. It haunts the gardens and sips nectar from all the blossom cups held out for its refreshment; and it is found throughout almost all parts of the United States. The grace of its appearance ismuch enhanced by the “swallowtails,” two projections from the hind margins of the hind wings.”

Page 303
“The caterpillars of the swallowtail butterflies have scent organs near the head which they thrust forth when attacked, thus giving off a disagreeable odor which is nauseating to birds.”
I just remembered that I had these photos from a trip to Yosemite this past summer of a swallowtail that made friends with my son. He even let him hold him on his finger.
Look at those legs? Amazing!

What a beautiful creature. I am always humbled by the simplicity and perfect symmetry found in our natural surroundings. Our God is a master Designer.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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