butterfly days

I was out on the patio this weekend when a huge butterfly fluttered by.  I ended up spending probably half and hour or more with my camera, just snapping away as she fed on the liatris I have planted.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus LinnaeusEastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio alaucus Linnaeus

I was more familiar with the male swallowtail, which is yellow with black markings.  When I saw this beauty, I wasn’t sure what it was.  I was surprised to find out that it is a female tiger swallowtail.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus Linnaeus

The plant is Liatris spicata, also known as Blazing Star or Gayfeather.  It is a native perennial plant, growing 3-4 feet tall.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus Linnaeus

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus Linnaeus

She would make her way from bloom to bloom around the plant.  After maybe 5 minutes, she would flutter out into the yard and circle around, coming back to land and feed again.  At first she was in bright sun, which made for some harsher photo light.  Fortunately, she moved to another patch of flowers in the shade, and prettily posed.

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