Monday, April 18, 2011

Two more Orchard Swallowtail butterflies emerge

Over the weekend two more butterflies emerged.  Now hopefully the lime tree can get back to the job of producing limes instead of hosting catterpillar sleepovers.   This was the first to emerge.
 There is a lot of black on this one - it is a male.  You can see the empty dry crisp chrysalis.  In the final days it becomes quite black and I realise it is becoming quite thin and the black you see is actually the butterflies wings.
 Arent they the most delicate design on these exquisite creatures?  It reminds me of the stippling technique my daughter used to practice in art clases.  Intricate tiny dots.
 Then this little lady appeared!  Isnt she pretty?  this is the female - you can see how much white there is on her wings.
 They spend quite a few hours hanging onto the branch before they can fly off.  They seem to be quite wet too, and need to dry off in the early morning sunlight - they always emerge just before dawn.  You can see a little drop of moisture just hanging from her body.
 Here is the back of the female, so now I can quite easily tell the difference between the male and the female.
I feel so blessed to be able to witness this miracle of life transforming right in my very own yard.   

9 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful portrayal of these glorious little creatures! I love your descriptions... especially cute, "hosting caterpillar sleepovers"!!

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  2. Gorgeous pictures, isn't nature amazing? Those Butterfly sleep-overs must be a lot of fun!

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  3. They are beautiful. Hopefully your lime tree will one day host sleepovers for their children and grandchildren. I'm sure it won't mind.

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  4. I've never seen a butterfly that doesn't have a beautiful wing coloration.

    I still could not imagine how beautiful butterflies could come from ugly caterpillars. They are one of nature's true wonders.

    Thank you for the lovely pics.

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  5. Banchick,
    I never tire of watching them.
    Desiree,
    well, I had to move some over to my neighbours tree since the party got too big at my place!
    Carolyn,
    thanks, yes I can get quite protective.
    Missy,
    I wonder if butterflies come back to the same place? Right now I am hoping some leaves start to appear on the stripped branches.
    Solitude rising,
    It just shows not to take everything at face value.....doesnt it?

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  6. These butterflies have such amazing colors! Your captures are spectacular!

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  7. You're truly blessed indeed, Gillian...to see these amazing transformation and be able to snap such great images to share here! Thanks for sharing them. Thank you too for your Easter greetings and may showers of Easter joy and blessings rain on you and yours too.

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