Yellow Swallowtail

My second sister’s flower garden near her front porch attracts many butterflies, especially the big Yellow Swallowtail.  This is not the first time I’ve seen the Yellow Swallowtail visiting her flowers, I also saw the black blue one several weeks back.

I do have to say that taking picture of the butterfly is a lot easier than taking picture of the hummingbird, but it’s still a challenge since the butterfly doesn’t stay still for very long and it takes a lot of patience and persistence, and by the time I was done taking these pictures, I was covered with sweat, it’s quiet humid on Saturday.

According to Wikipedia, this striking butterfly is yellow with black wing and vein markings and a wingspan of 8 to 10 cm (that’s 3-4 inches). The hind wings of both sexes have a pair of protruding tails which give the butterfly its common name. Just below each tail is a red eye spot.  This particular one is an orange eye spot.

One thing I noticed is that butterflies are intensely aware of their surroundings, I had to move as cautiously and slowly as possible so that I wouldn’t startle them, especially this one.  It is also important during approaching them not to cast your shadow over the butterfly because this will likely cause it to take flight, I learned the hard way, I need to pass this knowledge on to Lee also because she seems to take the liking of the butterfly.

Something that I saw that is so fascinating to me, but not until I got home is the long horn that is used for feeding.  The next couple of pictures are clearer of how it’s feeding the nectar from the Zinnia.

I need to plant Zinnias and Butterfly Bushes in my backyard next year.

4 thoughts on “Yellow Swallowtail”

  1. Nye, awesome pictures… You’re getting a good use of your camera. When you took these pictures of butterfly, what was your settings? Did you set it to “macro” or “auto”?? How close were you to it.?

    1. seeharhed, I had it set on Auto and about less than 10 inches from the butterfly, I was on the other side of the front porch railing, so it was a tight spot for my lens to squeeze through, but it works.

  2. Nice photos! And such a beautiful butterfly. 🙂

    I see your sister is a fan of Zinnias too. Which variety does she have? I can’t really tell from the photo. They look like the Thumbelina ones – which are smaller but also shorter too.

    1. Cambree, I’m not sure what kind she has, but they’re quiet tall, above knee high. She bought some this year that have bigger flowers and they’re a lot shorter, she is saving the seeds for next year, so I hope to get some from her.

      The butterfly is pretty, I was hoping to see more of them at the science center this year, but they didn’t have the butterfly exhibit, I guess they didn’t have enough budget. 😦

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