Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Black Swallowtails are Back! Save the Parsley.

I was ready to cut down all the parsley. This is its second year and most has gone to seed, huge umbels of bloom falling all over their neighbors. This morning, I saw a Black Swallowtail flitting from parsley limb to parsley leaf, pausing long enough to, I hope, lay eggs.

I had to search for a picture of parsley, it hangs over every other flower and is hardly photo-worthy except for identification. In this bed it grows with roses, daisies and white Crape Myrtle. Gardenias are in the background.

Of course I didn't catch her on parsley. I caught up to that one or another in the Upper Garden.

Right now Echinacea is attractive to all butterflies.
Guess what? I double-checked to be sure this was a Black Swallowtail. Not. 

 The underside of the wing gives this away as a Spicebush Swallowtail.

Not to worry, I expect the one in the Front Garden was a Black Swallowtail or there would not have been that dance and pirouette over the parsley. Butterflies are everywhere now. Here's an American Painted Lady that was also visiting along with beneficials. 

The underside-of-the-Swallowtail above also gave away that the Rock Birdbath was dry. I was so intent on butterflies I didn't notice until I came in and reviewed the pictures. It has dripping water once again. 
Birds were waiting when I got out there. 


  1. Okay, for us botanically impaired. I once heard that butterflies migrate. Then I thought, couldn't...they don't live long enough..and caterpillars aren't fast. I am noticing butterflies lately...so do they migrate? How does one have unique butterflies? Happenstance?

  2. I left a comment on your latest post, Janie, on butterflies and their habits.

    Uncommon butterflies show up when there is food and host plants available but only if they're native to the area.

    I'm never sure where some of the butterflies that come here actually hatch from a caterpillar. I just watch and they show up, probably from the woods, many of them.

    Hosts are all around us. Some of the more uncommon may be there and I don't recognize them. What I provide is nectar, and if a host plant shows up like the pipevine did, I let it grow.

  3. You get some of the most beautiful butterflies, and you always manage to get great pics of them too. I saw a Tiger Swallowtail in my garden today, but I had just sat down on the porch after four hours of digging holes and popping plants in, so I wasn't about to get up for the camera. It was sweet to see it in my garden, though. I really should plant more host plants.

  4. Beautiful echinacea!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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