Eastern Tailed Blue
Monday evening Jeff and I wandered out into the back yard, there was a break in the heat and the grass felt cool under my bare feet. It was actually pleasant for a change, the heat and humidity has been oppressive lately. Our faux prairie really comes to life in the evening, grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, and probably mice too, hidden under the layers of grass. Our recent butterfly population explosion seems to be continuing as Jeff found this little fella in the grass, then about a dozen or so more. The picture doesn't do it justice, it's so tiny, but so beautiful. It's wingspan is about an inch and it's flight pattern is very spastic, like a moth. I've never seen so many of the same species of butterfly in one place.
We also spotted several Halloween Pennants. They were all sitting on top of seed heads, like the one above, facing the setting sun.
Tuesday afternoon I spotted this butterfly on the hyssop. I could easily see it from inside the house, it was huge, approximately 4 1/2 inches across. It lingered for about an hour, feeding heavily from every blossom on my hyssop plants.
I'm guessing it's a Spicebush Swallowtail, but I'm not certain. The size is right, the colors on it's back are right, but it's lacking the second row of orange spots underneath. I just don't know what else it could be, if any of you out there have an idea, let me know! We have several Sassafras trees on our property, which is a secondary host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail, so I've been hoping to see some.
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