Colors Captured

Tiger swallowtail butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA
It all happens so quickly. Got to my favorite trail at Raccoon Creek State Park (Beaver County, PA) really early on this sunny May 2014 morning. Parked the Tundra and hiked the ½ mile to that stretch of the trail  that has been so good to me over these years. So now it’s 8:25 A.M., and the sun is just beginning to warm last night’s cool forest air.

I set myself in place, and waited. Which butterflies might fly in from the forest, and select flat leaves, to sun themselves? Remember, flying around with reduced body temperatures is tough for butterflies. It slows them down, and at reduced speed, they are vulnerable to swifty birds and other predators.

Within 10 minutes, several male Tiger Swallowtail butterflies flew in and began to sun bathe. These males were fresh, could be from a new flight.

This guy was a dandy! Then I got a look at his hindwing markings. Hot blues and reds. Nice, very nice. I shot, shot, shot. Here he is.