Swallowtail on Echinacea
or, yay for cell phone cameras.

This image perfectly sums up both the pleasures and frustrations of cell phone snaps. On the one hand, a camera immediately ready to hand, easy to focus, and of decent quality. On the other, particularly at the 512 pixel size, highlight clipping (i.e. overexposure) resulting from inexact exposure compensation, which for some reason seems to have caused some really awful .jpg artifacts during the downsizing process (note the jaggies along the lightest part of the flower petals, or edge of the left upper butterfly wing.)

Swallowtail on Echinacea. No, not my echinacea, some neighborhood echinacea. But I swear, mine looks similar, and there have been butterflies on it! galaxy s4, 31jul14.

But for spur of the moment, clipping and all, means I can share this little happiness. Because beautiful butterflies on striking native flowers is never a bad thing. Eastern swallowtail females come in two morphs, the familiar black and yellow with a bit of blue trim along the bottom edges of their wings, or the all-black version—think I've only spotted one of those, this season.

See, there are swallowtails on my echinacea:) This one is a male—no blue spots. sonyrx100, 09aug14

So about a week later, here's the proof of the above assertion. In fact I was lucky enough to see a pair dancing about each other after landing on a joe pye blossom, but as the flowerheads of this plant are 7 or 8’ above the ground, there was no chance of my getting a picture of that.


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I wanted something fun and fantastic, so today I'm celebrating the monarchs that have been visiting my garden. Part of the reason I wanted to document them was a request for panel decorations for a community little free library, in which I wished to incorporate orange flowers and butterflies (becau...


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