Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Black form) Bejeweled

Tiger swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

It’s New York, or Charleston, or San Francisco or Tokyo or London or Sao Paulo or Paris or Beijing . . . or Toronto, and you are strolling along a much too- expensive avenue of designer shops and boutiques . . . and there in the window you see the most captivating bejeweled broach or pin. That is how I feel when I am able to make my close approach to this beauty. What rivals her flash of color?

July calls countless butterflies to the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. A recent post notes that youngsters from the above cities earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees within sight of the spot, at the University of Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Mellon University. Imagine, I crouch down to see her nectar on Tall verbena, and at the same time I see the buildings of these venerated universities.

Pretty good for Schenley Park, within which Phipps sits. A relocated New Yorker, all I need do is travel 2 miles from my home, and here I am. Pittsburgh.

Much discussed as one of the Pipevine swallowtail mimics, Black form Papilio glaucus benefits from looking like the pipevines, because birds and other predators have learned that this pattern of wing color is associated with a very, very, very nasty tasting butterfly, the pipeline swallowtail. Only a dumb bunny bird will forget the lesson, hard learned by most.



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