Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Giant Swallowtail

I had been chasing a Tiger Swallowtail
around my neighborhood for over an hour.
When I came into my backyard a Giant Swallowtail greeted me.

My rapid heart beat matched the speed of his wings.

I remembered to breath, to relax
and to enjoy the moment.

I have Mexican Sunflowers in bloom for the Giants.
He did not see them this trip through.

I am looking for a Prickly Ash tree for the Giants.
These are their favorite host plants.
My butterfly book suggests planting one in the back corner of my butterfly reserve.
Sounds good to me.

20 comments:

Cheryl said...

What an exquisite butterfly....and in your garden, how wonderful Sherry.
The host plant sounds good......

Lynne said...

How big is that masterpiece?

mon@rch said...

I hope to find one of these guys in my area someday!

Naturegirl said...

Truly an exciting photo moment for you and for me too! Stunning! I love the one with it's face deep inside the flower! I've not yet captured my first butterfly on camera but ahhh..my roses!!! in love NG

Lisa at Greenbow said...

WOW, you have the best butterflies Sherry. Great pictures too.

Aluajala said...

What an exciting adventure and beautiful captures too! These butterflies are georgeous!

scienceguy288 said...

What a great looking butterfly and giant he is.

Rose said...

Such gorgeous photos. I just spent 5 minutes chasing after a dragonfly (in my pj's), but my photos can't even compare to these!

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
I have seen a few Giant Swallowtails in the past. They will come into gardens when they are hungry. Last year one comforted me after so many perennials died in my yard.They are brown and yellow on the upperwing, eyespots and yellow on the underwings. Their wings are always moving so I had to "stop action" to get "in focus" pictures.
I have never seen a Prickly Ash tree. I think they are not considered attractive, at least not to humans. I just planted four more Paw-paw trees for the Zebra Swallowtails. I will find a spot for the Prickly Ash and a resource to buy one. With habitat going so fast I think I better get a Prickly Ash in the ground asap!
Sherry

Q said...

Dear Lynne,
The Giant Swallowtail measures 4-6 1/2 inches wing tip to wing tip.. This one was maybe 5 1/2 inches. They are big...and beautiful. Much bigger than a Hummingbird. The size of Carolina Wren without the bulk!
Once you see one you will know forever.
Sherry

Q said...

Dear Tom,
I looked in my butterfly field guide and their range is all the way north to Maine. I bet it is how far north the Prickly Ash tree grows. If Prickly Ash trees are around, you just might see one of the Giants. They are fantastic butterflies.
Sherry

Q said...

Dear Anna,
You are Goddess of the Roses! I shall pop over and see if you will give me a garden tour. I too love the roses.
Oh my, I was very excited! Still am!! I hope Giant comes back. I have Mexican Sunflowers this year for nectaring. If all goes well I will order my Prickly Ash this afternoon. Creating a butterfly reserve takes a few years.
Happy roses,
Sherry

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
After chasing a Tiger for over an hour I was tired! It was a good walk for me. Coming into the back yard and seeing the Giant was a treat! Taking the photos was a trick. Not only was I very excited but the constant motion of the wings meant I had to use speed priotity. I needed lots of light!
After awhile I put the camerta down and just enjoyed being with the Giant.
Sherry

Q said...

Dear Aluajala,
I was very pleased!! The Giants are gorgeous. I hope to see more too. I have a spot in back picked out to plant a Prickly Ash tree.
Slowly my gardens are going wild for the butterflies.
Sherry

Q said...

Dear Scienceguy 288,
They are big!
I was thinking I might venture out later and see about getting some more verbena. This Giant seemed to like the few flowers I had.
Sherry

Q said...

Dear Rose,
I so understand! I took some dragonfly pictures yesterday too for slide show on Friday! I find if I slowly approach most the bugs do not notice me. I get so excited...like a little person.
Keep trying. When you do get a picture you like it is very exciting.
Sherry

Deb said...

The Giant Swallowtail is such a magnificent looking butterfly. You captured his beauty !

Q said...

Dear Deb,
Magnificent butterfly for sure.
I am always thrilled whenever I see one in my backyard!
I would love to have a colony of them. I just need more sweet nectaring and host plants....slowly the gardens are changing.
Sherry

Marvin said...

Beautiful photos, Sherry. What a great find!

Q said...

Hi Marvin,
I enjoy the butterflies coming into my backyard. I need to get a Prickly Ash tree for the Giant Swallowtails. On my list.
Sherry