A better image of the pair, with the female’s dorsal side in view
It’s Good to see so many sharing beautiful images of Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies seen this April 2021 in Georgia. Not going to ask why there’s been a nice increase in this exquisite butterfly. More helpful would be a share of which hostplants nurture and attract them.
Parsley, rue and their closely related plants are their hostplants. These are the plants that they will lay their eggs on, and that feed and sustain their caterpillars. Others are said to be carrots, fennel, celery, caraway, dill. I read that they eat the leaves and some caterpillars eat the flowers.
What fun to bring such elegant visitors to your garden. What uplifting feelings knowing that you are supporting the existence of some of G-d’s most beautiful creations. Often, when you locate a better than average local nursery (Not the Big Box ones), you purchase, and arrive home to find . . . EGGS! already set on leaves of your purchase. I Love when that happens.
It’s good, this 2021, after That Extraordinary 2020, to learn that many are seeing Black Swallowtail Butterflies. I Love That.
Where’d I meet this scrumptious pair? At the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I in Eatonton, Georgia.
She’s depositing eggs on this Milkweed leaf. Most of us know that the numbers of Monarch butterflies seen these last years is low, very low. Low enough to deeply concern many of us. Why?
Why have the numbers of Monarch butterflies collapsed? The conifer forests that they visit wintertime, in the mountains of central Mexico, continue to be logged by outlaw lumbermen. This has greatly reduced the wintering habitat for Monarchs. Additional loss of these fir trees will further decimate populations. Here in the U.S.A. loss of habitat has taken its toll, and the use of toxics for agriculture and home gardening/’bugs’ too jeopardizes Monarchs.
What do I think? There should be a national effort to save this American favorite. The U.S. government should do this, for nearly every American child learns of Monarchs in grade school, and most carry that knowledge and the accompanying fondness for Monarchs all the years of their lives.
What can You do to help? Plant Milkweed plants in your garden. Garden small or garden large, plant milkweed where you have sun and moist soil. Plant milkweed in pots where feasible. Your planted and your potted milkweed are hostplants that nourish Monarch caterpillars. Their life cycle, which you and ‘Miss McGillicudy’ probables studied back in Grade 3, is fascinating and calming and reassuring in these unique times.
Suggestion: Don’t purchase your milkweed in Big Box stores. Purchase them more carefully, at local native nurseries (nurseries that stock plants native to your state) or online, from nurseries offering natives. A little more effort . . . But alot more reward.
Me? I see a Monarch, and I’m in love. Honest.
When we select ‘3 or 4’ of our images to be printed and hung on our our Macon, Georgia walls, this one may well be among them. I remember that morning in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, as if it were yesterday.
I’d gotten there early, that Eatonton, Georgia morning, and I was near shocked to find this pair of Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies, coupled together on a smallish plant. Quick examination left no doubt, this was one of the most beautiful possible visions that one could possibly see.
My thinking, my own thinking at such times? That G-d’s creative crafting, as I crouch there, looking at it, far exceeds that of anything ever crafted by the world’s finest jewelry workshops! That’s what I thought then and there, that warm, sunny morning in Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat
Sylbie shoots away, and the pair of Swallowtail Butterflies move to my upper arm.
Part of our cherished ‘Jeff’s Earring’ series of photo images, the coupled pair of Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies pause, he holding her and himself firmly to my right arm. Sylbie Yon is shooting photographic slides with my Canon Elan 7e film camera.
Moments later, they will have found their way up to my right ear, and, with G-d’s exquisite beauty adorning me, Frieda A”H (OBM”) gone, Georgia at my feet, and Sylbie with sure hand and eye, tears did well up, but, Brooklyn born, I foolishly refused to let them run.
Hope this makes sense on Valentine’s Day?
Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I, Eatonton, Georgia.
With February nearly half over, it’s understandable that we are waiting for them. Them? Well, waiting to again enjoy visits from such as this one, an Eastern Back Swallowtail butterfly. His vivid colors appeal and draw us closer to him.
Just the thought of celebrating such visits has us on the alert at our garden centers, native plant markets and even when we’re fortunate enough to be visiting the garden of an accomplished friend Parsley, rue and their parsley types will attract Eastern Black Swallowtails, entice them to lay their eggs on those houseplants. Their caterpillars? Gorgeous. Their own beauty? Find the words.
Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat, Eatonton, Georgia, just 7 hours north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.