EVERY TIME I SPOT A BUTTERFLY, joy surges through me. There’s something about the flitting flight of a butterfly that captivates me.
But it’s more than that. I appreciate how these insects appear so carefree, as if their very existence is simply to bring beauty and joy into the world. And maybe it is.
In recent days, I’ve observed two swallowtail butterflies, one black, the other yellow, among the phlox growing wild in my flowerbeds. And some 10 days ago I photographed an Eastern tiger swallowtail atop a zinnia at the Rice County Master Gardeners Teaching Garden in Faribault.
That well-tended garden has become a new favorite oasis for me within the city limits. On the Sunday afternoon I visited the garden, I found friends Paula and Ed already there, resting on a bench. Paula was involved early on with development of this garden. She no longer is, but remains an active gardener. Paula was the one who spotted the swallowtail among the zinnias.
Per her direction, I headed to the zinnia patch to photograph the yellow swallowtail with wings outlined in black, splotches of blue and orange adding to the coloring.
The swallowtail perched, unhurried atop the yellow-centered pink flower. I had plenty of time to snap multiple frames. That’s often not the case with butterflies.
That butterflies survive a four-stage life cycle from egg to larva (caterpillar) to pupa (chrysalis) to adult butterfly impresses me. At any one stage, a predator could end their lives. But yet, here was this beautiful butterfly among the zinnias. Like the final verse in a lovely summer poem.
TELL ME: What do you appreciate about butterflies? Do you have a favorite?
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling