Friday, March 25, 2011

Butterfly first aid

Swallowtail back cu 3-24-2011 1-03-19 PM 1008x992
This gorgeous butterfly is a giant swallowtail, also known as an “orange dog” for laying its eggs on citrus leaves. When I was out watering yesterday I saw this insect crawling on the ground. Clearly it would not survive out on the ground like that, so I picked it up and put it on my fatsia plant, in the shade and relative safety of the porch. It crawled onto a leaf and hung there as you see it.
I believe it had just hatched and hadn’t had time to strengthen itself for its launch into the world. I may have knocked it down while watering. I went back a few times and it hadn’t moved, so I thought it might have died.
Then, I went out later, and saw that its wings were open. I went for my camera, but it fluttered to the end of the porch:
swallowtail back 3-24-2011 4-56-34 PM 1607x843
Then it flew into the garden, landed briefly on the pomegranate tree, and fluttered off into the breeze and its destiny.