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Garden journal entry


I think I can, I think I can...
October 27, 2018. Fall seems to be the prime butterfly season here in the Houston area, with monarchs paying visits along their migration path (and leaving their offspring on our milkweed plants), gulf fritillaries darting among the flowers, and a variety of skippers flitting about. Swallowtails visit too, but I seldom see them up close – so I was happy to encounter one today in the early evening, struggling to steady itself among some ornamental grass blades. Its wings had not completely unfurled yet, so it mostly just flapped around, waiting for the moment it could fly away. By looking at some other pictures I've taken through the years, I confirmed that this was a black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes). I was also reminded that its host plants are in the carrot and dill family (the umbellifers), and I really don't think I have any of those around the area where I found this hatchling. Still, I'll be looking around tomorrow to see if I can find any caterpillars around. For pictures of a fully fledged black swallowtail, see my flutters page

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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