Flight of the giant (swallowtail, that is)
I was quietly reading in the late afternoon shade of a tree this Saturday when I was forced to put down my book and pick up my camera by the arrival of a persistent giant swallowtail.
He swooped back and forth between the turk’s cap and lantana with such determination that I felt a had to take some photographic notice, lest he think me an unappreciative host.
Attempting to catch him sitting still proved to be a matter of fire away and keep pushing the shutter button, to the tune of about 35 captures from which these four were chosen. The critter could best be described as peripatetic.
The lantana gave me something of an edge because of the numerous blossoms from which to sip nectar on each budhead – meaning that the butterfly stayed more or less in one place for a relatively long period of time. (You will note that I haven’t presented any keeper shots from the turk’s cap portion of his frenzied buffet.)
This butterfly has a very prominent two-sectioned structure to his wings, which can appear at first to be a tear, but is in fact by design as nature intended – perhaps to keep his extra-large wings from quickly becoming tattered.