I’ll reluctantly join the growing chorus? Where are our beloved Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies? Many, most or all of you have shared that they are absent. So many of us proudly share that our perennial gardens are now in full bloom, rich with nectar producing flowers. Flowers that normally draw these large, colorful swallowtails.
At this time year after year we enjoyed seeing shots of Tiger caterpillars, chrysalises and newly eclosed male and female Tigers.
My own garden is beginning its 3rd full year, and the Tithonia (Mexican Sunflowers) are reaching 4′-5′ and opening flower. Our 3 species of Hibiscus are busters, our giant Zinnias hale, day lilies still spending new flowers, Black-Eyed Susans strong, Obedient Plant throwing out hundreds of flowers, Cardinal Flower the deepest of red blooms, Coneflower by the dozens of blooms, Cosmos many and I’ve only seen a single Tiger Swallowtail, back in April 2019.
They’re always our dependables, like Commas on trails, Carolina Satyrs in Southern perennial beds, Silver Spotted Skippers at trails edge where wildflowers abound.
Stalwarts, myself included, expect to see them any day now, what with fennel, dill, black cherry, plum and chokecherry all present and accounted for.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail female at Raccoon Creek State Park, 42 minutes west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and 8 hours west of Times Square in New York City.