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