Saturday, June 07, 2008


Mid-spring (now), two large flowering shrubs/trees bloom. The white one is a mock orange, whose light, delicate blossoms emit a heavy fragrance.

The pink one is a, um, I don't know what it is. I can smell no discernable scent, although Don can.

In our yard, these trees are not visible to each other.

They stand about 200 feet apart, on either side of the house.

Every year the swallowtail butterflies make a frenzied path between them, drinking, drinking, drinking. Such immoderation.

First at the mock orange.

Then at the, um, whatever-it-is-pink tree.

Each swallowtail adult lives about one month. There are 500 species of swallowtail. You can see one of them here is predominantly yellow, while the other is black.

I just added this different swallowtail to show another color combination:

I never knew that a gentleman's cutaway coat is called a swallowtail.


André Lemay said...

Spring is the most beautiful season for me; all the trees in blooms at differents times, all different insects pollinating them for a good crop at the end of the summer. I love your pictures.

VioletSky said...

I love your photos. The butterfly is perfection...and on a mock orange! One of my favourite scented bushes from childhood.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Lovely, light fresh and delicate... Love seeing the 2 swallowtails... I never realized they came in different colors... I'll be watching now... I sure do love this time of year with life bursting forth...

It is even better that the trees are not in a visual range of each other that allows a surprise waiting around the corner.. and I love surprises

Simply lovely!!!

Anet said...

I miss my mock orange from my old house, a smell from heaven!
Your photos are wonderful!!!!!!
I'm not sure what the pink bush is either, its beautiful. We have a spirea (spelling?) bush. I don't like it and want to get rid of it. But I don't... because my mom loves it. It's "bee city" in that bush.
Noah raised painted lady butterflies last year. That was a great experience:)

Sharon said...

That pink tree is, ..... and it's kind of neat that it's name is known only to the butterflies!

The bottom shot of the swallowtail alight on the blossoms seems is so fleeting and precious, uncapturable and yet you managed to capture it......

Ruth said...

André, there is so much life, isn't there? I was looking at the bat poo under our bat house, and it was teeming with life! Thank you so much for your kind comment.

oo oo oo

VioletSky, thank you very much. I don't remember finding out about mock oranges until we had this one.

oo oo oo

Hi, Gwen! I just posted another swallowtail, because I noticed when I went out again this one was different yet.

oo oo oo

Anet, isn't mock orange just intoxicating? I have mixed feelings about spirea, they seem pretty well suited to the country - we have one too.

oo oo oo

Sharon, you make a good point, the butterflies know, and maybe they don't even name it. A secret about capturing that frenetic butterfly in his crazy flight: camera's on sport mode. Thank you.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Ruth he's a beauty too... So many color variations... all this time I thought they were all different species but they are all swallowtail. Thanks for waking me up!!
I'll have to do a post about the butterfuy Max found in the garden when he was small.. He loved it

Sandy said...

More prize winning photos!!!!!

Ruth I always feel good after visiting here.

Could your family use a token auntie, someone who will chase zebras and bring them home, or pull weeds, make you potporri from the blossoms, cook you chicken tenders and pasta salad, or possibly just sit around and tell silly little jokes, cause if so, I'm your auntie! You could adopt me and let me pitch a tent under one of those trees..(in the summer that is). In the winter I'll move into your little studio. I could help Don pick up bird poop.

Ruth said...

Gwen, I look forward to hearing about Max's butterfly!

oo oo oo

Sandy! You make me feel so great!

Yes yes yes, we need a zebra-chasing-weed-pulling-potpourri-making-chicken-tender-pasta-cooking-joke-telling-bird-poo-picking-auntie! Just tell us your ETA, and we'll have the kettle on!

freefalling said...

It may not be a long time, but it's gunna be a good time!
I wonder what we would gorge ourselves on if we only lived for a month?

Don't you love the way butterflies fly?
They look like crazy puppets on a string.

Ruth said...

Letitia, you helped it just occur to me that they must be frenetic because they're in a hurry!

Drowsey Monkey said...

whoa ... that second last photo is truly amazing!

SwedeHart said...

Orange blossoms are something I miss about Arizona. There is nothing like it in the world!

alek said...

between pink and white lurks the possibility of an infinite journey

Ruth said...

Thanks, Drowsey!

oo oo oo

SwedeHart, all those citrus trees are amazing. Shari has a grapefruit tree by their driveway which is remarkable.

oo oo oo

Yes, Alek.

BouBou's said...

What a fantastic series of photos! So wonderful that you have this to enjoy.


Ginnie said...

The things we learn, Ruth, when we start posting about such things as swallowtails! That may be one of the best things that has ever happened to me...posting and learning stuff. :)

Ruth said...

Dear Anna, we look forward to it every year, thank you so much for stopping by.

oo oo oo

Boots, I can see you in one of those swallowtail coats!