Monday, July 19, 2010

Tigers in My Backyard

The Tiger Swallowtails are back on my butterfly bush and they are exquisite! The butterfly is named that for obvious reasons: it is striped like a tiger and the base of its wings look like the tail of a swallow. It is stunning – large, dramatic, and brilliant yellow. I look for it/them each summer. Usually several are feeding on the bush. Last year I saw a brown butterfly on the bush and thought I had spotted a new kind of butterfly but I found out it was a female Tiger Swallowtail. Females aren’t always brown so it had confused me. I saw her again this season. I guess a family has taken up residence in my backyard. I read that one of the trees a swallowtail likes for egg-laying is the tulip tree and, luckily, I have one! I hope it means that there will be many more summers with these lovely insects flitting about. What a joy it is to have them flutter around me, almost touching, in such a familiar way. But then, we are all part of the same universal family.


  1. One of my favorite spots in Key West is the butterfly conservancy in town. Imagine being surronded by butterlies flying in every direction in front of you, above and behind. Several people had butterflies landing on their shoulders and hats. It was sheer joy!!!!!!!

  2. I am so eager to do that! One of my friends said that she and her husband had been sitting on a beach in Mexico one year on vacation when a swarm of Monarchs landed all around. They were covered with butterflies! What an experience that must have been.