Sunday, June 3, 2012

Zebra Swallowtail

Today, while replacing many of my old daylily markers with new daylily markers, I came across this lovely creature.... Eurytides marcellus.  AKA Zebra Swallowtail.  According to those who know about butterflies, my part of Eastern Kansas is on the outer fringe of the normal range of this species.

I first spotted him/her on the edge of a daylily.  I ran inside to grab my camera, but she had vanished when I got back outside.  Big Disappointment!

Then, there she was right next to me in another part of the garden... having a refreshing drink of nectar from some butterfly weed (of course).  What a treat to see this right up close!

Even though the wind was very, very gentle, she floated around a bit.  There were many fuzzy photos taken to get these few, as well as some bits of mulch embedded in my knees! 

I've had some lovely daylilies so far, but I can tell things are not quite right after our weirdly warm winter.  Everything seems a little confused, especially about timing, and some lilies are a little smaller and have shorter scapes than usual.  We'll see.  I know I'll enjoy whatever happens!  Here's a few from this morning...

Brand New Lover

 Lullaby Baby

I mentioned replacing my daylily plant markers.  It's a big job, but necessary.  You can see in the sample of old ones on the right how the legs start to get rusty and the name starts to wear off (that's Mother Nature's work).  And then there is damage from ME accidentally stepping on them in the garden!  To make the markers, I print the daylily names on clear labels (with my printer), attach each label to a new marker, then attach another blank label over that for added protection.  This is by far the longest lasting approach I have discovered. The ones I'm replacing are 4-5 years old.  I think there are about 80 to replace this year.

Although there have been many sightings of Twinkie this week, and many baby carrots consumed, I don't have an updated photo.  But I've got my personal professional photographer working on it.  Think "Big Camera Stalking Tiny Bunny" (it's kind of fun to watch).  So, in place of the elusive Twinkie, here's another bunny, much more well-behaved than Twinkie, to say bye bye this week...

Maybe the Zebra Swallowtail will grace your garden!