Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly enjoying some of our flowers

This evening as the lovely spouse and I were in the car, backing out of the driveway, I spotted a butterfly on one of our flower baskets. Quickly stopping the car, grabbing my little Gateway point-and-shoot digicam, I approached this handsome specimen enjoying the blooms. I managed to get these pictures before he got the notion to leave. While I would have preferred the sharpness of my Olympus DSLR for such an occasion, I am still thrilled that I got these shots.

I have seen several of these large beauties flying around the yard, but never the chance to photograph them. At first, we thought it might be a monarch or a viceroy, but upon closer examination, it is clear that this gorgeous guy (or gal) is a tiger swallowtail. In the top picture, you can clearly see its legs and antennae, as one wing was almost edgewise to the camera. The second picture gives a view of both wings.

Our friend, the tiger swallowtail with both wings visible

These stunning creatures only live as adult butterflies for 10-to-14 days, but the joy and beauty that they add to the garden make their short lives very meaningful to those of us who enjoy watching them.