Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


Western Tiger Swallowtail

I wore down my camera battery with all the zooming and unzooming, hoping this guy would hold still. But he had so many flowers to visit, he couldn’t make up his mind which one to rest on for more than a second or two.  His name is Papilio Rutulus and although he’s a western tiger swallowtail butterfly, it seems that something has swallowed his tail.

Could it  be a hungry bird

Who thought he’d eat him? How absurd.

Nothing tasty on these wings,

Not a bit that nourishment brings.

Maybe branches beat his back

On the piece he now does lack.

In the wind the twigs can whip

Snapping blows, and wings can rip.

Whatsoever happened here,

I’m so sorry, my poor dear.

Glad it doesn’t change your flight

As you flutter out of sight.


Does Size Matter?

Which is bigger? A butterfly or a bird? Without seeing pictures, you would probably say a bird. But take a look at this Eastern tiger swallowtail, having lunch with Phil  and Adele (philadelphus) who are feeding it mock orange.


Taken by yours truly on Vancouver Island.

Seems my friend Juanita had the same idea today. She was out capturing giant butterflies today too! It’s a big one. Bigger than a bird?


Taken by my friend Juanita Kelly in Washington State.

Well, take a look at this hummingbird. She’s so happy to find this red hot poker.

“Where have you been all my life?” she asks, arms outstretched. “Come to Mama, baby!”040a

Maybe the bird is not bigger than the butterfly after all. Hard to say. Neither would stick around long enough for me to go get a tape measure.