Tiger Swallowtail

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport Maine

Just the other day, in a Day Poem, I was complaining about Tiger Swallowtails. Maybe simplest to quote the poem.

I have seen, over the past week,

at least a hundred Tiger Swallow-

tail butterflies. They are everywhere

I go. But do you think even a single

one will perch and pose for a picture?

Of course not! I will tell you, if I

were in charge of Swallowtails things

would be different by far. But then

I suppose, all things considered, that

it is better that I am not. I do not know

how I would cope with such a serious

obligation and fearsome responsibility.

Well, yesterday, I found this nice fresh Swallowtail, apparently somewhat drunk on the nectar of these lovely pinkish flowers in the overgrown (intentionally) meadow above the Conservation Trust buildings at Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport. I am embarrassed to say I do not know what type of flowers they are. They adorn waist high weedy looking plants with red stems and pale leaves growing in a dense mass along the trail in full sun. They remind me a bit of blueberries, but I don’t think they are. And evidently the Swallowtails really like them. This one was flitting from cluster to cluster and hanging on for 30 seconds or more, before fluttering on to the next cluster. (The plant is not, however, listed in any list of flowers Swallowtails like I could find in a Google search…I did try that.) Whatever the plant is, I appreciate it as a background to my first Swallowtail pictures of the season. Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 125. Processed in Polarr.


  1. Reply
    Gerrit Haagsma June 21, 2018

    Well yes, let the Holy Spirit run the show, and just delight. . .and wait.

    • Reply
      lightshedder June 21, 2018

      Exactly! A gift unearned and undeserved!

  2. Reply
    Tony Turley June 29, 2018

    I think your unknown plant is Dogbane, aka Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum). Very common in my neck of the woods down here in WV.

    • Reply
      lightshedder June 29, 2018

      Yes I had used a Plant ID app on my phone and found it. Thanks!

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