Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Aug 22
2012

I Have Butterflies

Some of nature’s won­ders require that you stop, pause and look closely. This isn’t one of them. There’s a rea­son the Bud­dleia is called a but­ter­fly bush. It’s cov­ered in swal­low­tail butterflies!

This but­ter­fly bush is the Bud­dleia davidii ‘White Splen­dour’ (I think). It is approx­i­mately 8′ in diam­e­ter and nearly 10′ tall. It was relo­cated a cou­ple of years ago to a more roomy loca­tion because I didn’t believe it could pos­si­bly grow this big.

All sum­mer long the but­ter­flies are numer­ous and indus­tri­ous in our gar­den. It’s one of the rea­sons I grow dill but hardly ever get to eat any. The cater­pil­lars eat it all. Glut­tons. Glo­ri­ous gluttons.

By far the East­ern Tiger Swal­low­tails out­num­ber the other but­ter­flies. But we also have Painted Admi­rals, Black Swal­low­tails and—the glo­ri­ous Zebra Swal­low­tail. (You can see those in the video below.)

A while back a friend of mine was envy­ing our pro­lific Paw­paw patch because it is host to the lar­val Zebra Swal­low­tail. If you don’t know Paw­paws, they are a  fruit tree native to North Amer­ica. The fruit of the Paw­paw is rather sweet and mushy. For some it’s an acquired taste. But Zebra Swal­low­tails just love Paw­paws.  In fact, it is also called the Paw­paw butterfly.

I wish I were a bet­ter pho­tog­ra­pher and video­g­ra­pher to share how the bush comes alive. This is def­i­nitely one of nature’s big­ger shows in my garden.

 

Robin

Chick­ens are very dif­fi­cult mod­els. I must have about 4,000 chicken pho­tos. In 3,990 of them the chicken is fac­ing the wrong way, run­ning the wrong way or tak­ing a poop.

To pho­to­graph a chicken takes patience and Olympic-class squat­ting abil­ity. You must get down…wayyyyy down…into a squat posi­tion and stay there for about four hours while train­ing your cam­era on the chicken and wait­ing for him or her to gaze in your direc­tion. If you try and rush said gaze by, say, whistling, you will alarm the chicken into fac­ing the wrong way, run­ning the wrong way or tak­ing a poop.

So the fol­low­ing rep­re­sents about three weeks of squat­ting and wait­ing patiently. Enjoy. I have to go rub some Ben­gay on my quads now.

(You should be able to click on the photo to embiggen and see their purdy feathers.)

Robin
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