Happy Pollinator Week!

This Giant Swallowtail made sure I was getting photos of its best side. No rush, plenty of poses in easy range. Sadly, I only had my sorry unsmart phone with me. It was sipping moisture and nutrients from the mud at the creek crossing.

We have many plants for Giant Swallowtails at the Environmental Education Center. Coneflowers are blooming to supply adults with nectar. Our prickly ash trees are the host plant for the caterpillars.

The wingspan of a Giant Swallowtail is five inches. The sighting of one gliding over your shoulder can make a grown woman fall down a steep cliff at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center south of Dallas. It's good that Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve offers flatter viewing spots! Look for them where the ironweed blooms in July.

And yes, Giant Swallowtail caterpillars look like fresh bird poop from Sinbad's mythical Roc. This one is about to defoliate a young lime tree on my patio two years ago this week.

© 2014-2015 Nancy L. Ruder


Debra said...

When I first moved here I had a little lime tree in a pot on our patio. One day I saw what I thought was a very large plop of bird poop on a leaf. But then the poop MOVED. hahaha. I tried looking it up on the internet as bird poop and caterpillar and that description actually worked. The disguise sure fools people and I am sure it puts a damper on most predator's appetites too.

Prickly ash is a new to me tree. Fascinating. And GREAT link. Thanks.

Collagemama said...

Thanks, Debra. Hope your little lime tree did better than mine.