Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Giant Swallowtail makes a visit

Well, if you want a sign of climate change, this is it. I found a Giant Swallowtail butterfly in my garden this afternoon. What a large, gorgeous butterfly!


I had to use the high shutter speed setting on my camera for a lot of these, because the butterfly does not sit still! According to the  Government Canada "Butterflies of Canada" website,  "It is such a large butterfly that it continually vibrates its wings while feeding at flowers so that it does not tilt the blossom." 


I can vouch for that! This one was constantly quivering like it was in caffeine withdrawal!



The Giant Swallowtail is the largest butterfly found in Canada. It has resident in southwestern Ontario (especially along Lake Erie) for a long time, but out here in far eastern Ontario, it's new and exciting. Here's an Ottawa Citizen article about all the excitement.


It was a fluke I even saw this one today. I was sitting at my computer, and actually saw the butterfly in the reflection of my office window on my computer screen! It was fluttering around the window. I grabbed my camera and went outside, and sure enough, it was over in the flower bed with all the phlox, conefowers, bee balm and other things I've planted with pollinators in mind.



Here it is, nose-down (do butterflies have noses?) in the white flox.

And the caterpillars look like bird poo...



I was very excited to see this large, beautiful butterfly in my garden today.


Okay, I know I'm overdue for cat and dog and chicken and duck photos. They're coming!



14 comments:

  1. You're a super expert on butterflies. Great photos.So I enjoy the photos , learn about butterflies and also learn ho to take a better picture.

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    1. Well, thank goodness for the internet! Makes it easier to look things up! My Dad and I used to catch butterflies when I was a kid.

      My advice for pictures is to get down on the level of whatever you're photographing and don't be afraid to take LOTS of shots! WIth digital cameras, there's no worrying about wasting film! And patience helps too!

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  2. I'm also very excited it visited you, Knatolee. I had never seen that butterfly before. I'm having such a great "nature" summer because of your wonderful photos. Thanks!

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    1. Glad I can bring a little country to the city for you, Claude!

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  3. Oh my goodness, those are gorgeous. I have never seen this butterfly before but then I`m not always looking. I`ll have to watch for one. I`m so glad hubby bought you that new lens. Now, go find Emily. I need an Emily moment.

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    1. If you see it you'll know! It's so big!

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  4. Popped over from Katnip Lounge - Ooo-la-la I haven't seen a swallowtail since I was a kid - and how lucky that you had your new lens to take some wonderful shots of that baby. Gorgeous. Love your outside kitty run too :-) T.

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    1. Welcome, and thanks for the kind words!

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  5. Your photos in this post and the prior are incredible!

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  6. What fabulous photos! Must get a butterfly ID book.
    Jane x

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    1. I have a really old Petersons guide I would like to update!

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  7. Wonderful butterfly and photos!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!