Spicebush Swallowtail Courtship
Some butterflies have shown up at last. Not as many as I would like to see though. There were dozens of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails in past years, but only two or three of them this year. I’ve seen some Swallowtail caterpillars but they disappeared a couple of days after. I think the birds have been doing their job too well. A team of Gray Catbirds, House Wrens, Song Sparrows, Robins, Eastern Bluebirds, Titmouse, and Chickadees work non-stop on eliminating insects in the garden. I’ve seen one Monarch briefly this summer before it’s also disappeared.
I had some luck a couple of days ago, two Spicebush Swallowtails (Papilio troilus) took their time in courtship, slipping from flower to flower. Wherever the female flew to, the male followed close behind. It’s reminded me of the courtship ritual in many period films….very graceful.