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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BUMBLEBEE, FEMALE EASTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL AND COMMON MILKWEED

AN EASTERN FEMALE TIGER SWALLOWTAIL LANDS ON THE FLOWER OF THE COMMON MILKWEED

As I drove along the dirt road by my home I spotted this large female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail making a landing on the flower of the Common Milkweed plant, Asclepias syriaca. Milkweed is a wildflower native to North America and is a host plant to the Monarch Butterfly.

I had my camera with me so I jumped out of the car to take a photo of the butterfly, thinking to myself that it might fly away before I could get a shot off. Apparently, it was completely intrigued by its gathering of the flower nectar; it acted and performed as if I was not even there. I got several shots over a few minutes as it searched around the flower for nectar. I could smell the sweet perfumed scent of the flower as I stood by the plant

If you enlarge the above photo by placing your cursor over it and clicking, you will notice a bumblebee flying straight for the flower that the butterfly has landed on.


FEMALE EASTERN SWALLOWTAIL STRETCHES OUT ITS LARGE WINGSPAN

The female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has two coloration forms. One is similar to the male being yellow and the other is called the dark form which is like the female in these photos.To view the male, a startling beauty of yellow and black stripes, and to also find out more about their stages -- click here.

TIGER SWALLOWTAIL WALKS UPSIDE DOWN ON THE BLOSSOM

CRAWLING AROUND THE BLOSSOM -- NOW WITH A BUMBLEBEE COMING AROUND FROM THE BACK OF THE BLOSSOM AND JOINING THE NECTAR GATHERING PARTY

As of yet I still am learning how to identify bumblebees, there are so many species in North America -- click here. The bumblebee in the photo above can hardly be seen. It is to the right of the butterfly and appears as a black speck. In the next photo below one can see the bumblebee a tad bit better.

SWALLOWTAIL IN AN ODD POSITION WHILE THE BUMBLEBEE HANGS TIGHT TO THE BLOSSOM

A bee, a wildflower, and a butterfly are all wrapped up in one endeavor. One the bearer of nectar and the others receiving the nectar. A symbiotic relationship of sorts. This is a micro- community of nature and portrays the giving and receiving that it involves.

Planting, growing, pollinating, producing, nourishing, dying, decaying. We begin again ... planting ... a cycle of life within the cycles of the cosmos.

8 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos -- but that flower sure looks like what we call milkweed. What we call Joe Pye Weed is much taller with lanceolate leaves. The names may be different in your neck of the woods -- like the laurel/ivy and rhododendron/laurel variations.

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  2. Absolutely beautiful photos, Barbara!

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  3. Vicki, After comparing the leaf pattern of both the Joe Pye and the Common Milkweed I could see that you were absolutely right. The plants are similar in many ways. Thank you very much for pointing this out. My botany skills have room for much improvement. That is why I enjoy blogging so much as there are many folks with a diverse amount of skills and knowledge. What one person doesn't know another one does. It is a community of sharing. -- barbara

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  4. Thank you, Barbara, for commenting on my blog. After your last comment, I just had to come over and tell you that I did decide to grow my hair long, in all its glorious grayness.

    I've never seen the black version of Tiger Swallowtail. I'll be on the lookout for it now. I laughed when I saw that you pulled your car over to take these pictures. I've always wanted to do that, but I always seem to see things I want to look at further on the big expressways around here, and never quite have the nerve to slam on the brakes and pull the car over.

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  5. Jayne -- Thanks for the nice comment -- stay warm in the land of OZ -- barbara

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  6. Louise -- Now you made me laugh. I didn't stop on a busy highway -- it was a one lane dirt road that gets barely any cars or trucks on it. But I have pulled off in some pretty scary situations in the past to get that post photo and then questioned my sanity afterwards.

    Good move -- long hair is beautiful on gray haired women.

    Thanks for the comment -- I'll be back to visit your post. -- barbara

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  7. Fascinating series of photos and information. I forget that there are various species of bee. I"m glad you reminded me.

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  8. June -- thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog -- Big 7-0 & More. -- barbara

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