Sunday, July 19, 2009

Black Swallowtails and More

The past four days we have had a fresh Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes emerge each day in our Bronze Fennel patch! Pretty cool to see these lovely jewels in the garden as we walk about. Two of them I've picked up and both have squirted me with fluids they expel as they pump up their wings.


This male Black Swallowtail was completely floppy fresh when I found him. He gave me about an hour to take photos of him.

Below is an Umber Shadowdragon, Neurocordulia obsoleta Meg found while walking along a trail near the Eno River last Sunday. It was a first for me in the state of North Carolina and only the second time I'd seen it before, I saw it in South Carolina one day in may many years ago. Even though this species is reported to have been found in 53 of our 100 counties none of my dragonfly buddies have seen it here to my recollection.

Below is an Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina that left us eggs in our garden a week ago. I looked it up and it'll be 11-12 weeks before they hatch. She was found by Meg when her hole was nearly dug as I was making dinner. I gave her as much privacy as I could and took this photo for the blog. Even at dark she was resting over the nesting site either worn out or protecting it.

This Carolina Anole, Anolis carolinensis posed for this photo before it headed off for cover. It was about 8 to 9 inches long very big from what I'd seen in the past of these little lizards. If I'm right the red throat (dewlap)indicates it is a male, this is used to attract females. These are sometimes called American Chameleons yet they are not true chameleons.

Green coloring means it is happy, if you find a brown one of these, it is not happy. I rarely see brown ones.

Vacation is over Meg starts a new fifth grade class in the morning!

19 comments:

Rosey Pollen said...

So beautiful! I am a sucker for a gorgeous butterfly shot! Those things never hold still for me!
Rosey

Skeeter said...

How lucky you were to get such photos of the butterflies! They are so difficult to capture as they flutter about. I love the Anole lizards. They are all over our yard and we enjoy them. They change colors from green to brown when they get onto our brown brick wall. I think they change colors according to what colors they are on or seem to anyway. What another lucky day you had with the opportunity to photograph a turtle laying her eggs! We saw one digging a hole one time then she went off so I dont think she laid any eggs. There was too much activity going on as this was at a lake. Anyway, great pics you have there and what luck you had with snapping them...

Kelly said...

Your butterfly photos are amazing. I read a few days ago on another site about Black Swallowtails and fennel, and now I see it on your site. Next year I have to add fennel to our garden. I love these fellows.

Janet said...

What fun!! That Carolina Anole (?!!) is pretty cool-- especially that he posed with his throat puffed out. I tried to get some butterflies today...when I was walking the dogs they were all over. Once I came back with the camera I was out of luck!! Maybe in the morning.

Randy Emmitt said...

Rosey and Skeeter,

Timing is everything when you shoot butterflies. Today this swallowtail gave me an hour, not your usual 1-2 seconds. Several years ago I Had a pitch fork set up with 5 chrysalises and 10 male Black Swallowtails waiting for the females to emerge so they could mate with them.

Kelly be careful with fennel it has taken over here, I spent hours every year pulling and digging it out.

tina said...

Beautiful photos. I always love the fresh butterflies. So nice of him to hang around so you could take pics.

Town Mouse said...

Amazing! I did not even know Carolina Anoles existed. Well, I'm still dreaming of the bike trip across country when I'm retired...

Meems said...

Randy and Meg,
I have had so much delight watching the Swallowtails emerge this summer. When they are fresh like that they hang motionless... fascinating stuff.

We have dozens of anoles in our yard... all sizes and colors. But your green one is at least pretty. And yes, the male is attracting a female with his throaty thingie. Eat away, lizards... 'til your heart is content with bugs and your body is green!
Meems

Michelle said...

You've got such a wonderful variety of wildlife and your photos are always a delight!

Q said...

These are amazing photos! I love seeing the turtle and her eggs.
I have enjoyed catching up with you this morning. Withthe cooler temps I am outside in the gardens are slipping behind on visiting!
I know the Prairie Gay Feather as Blazing Star and my books call it Liatris! Always nice to know the common and the latin names.
Sherry

Warren Baker said...

That Swallowtail is a real cracker, great photo.

Cheryl said...

As always a fantastic set of photographs.....I am always amazed when I visit....
The butterfly is just so perfect, so very perfect......

JRandSue said...

Hi Randy, every one of your Images is top notch. Outstanding Photography with outstanding captures.
Love it lots.
John

Grace Peterson said...

Randy~~ I love your turtle. I hope you'll be able to photograph her babies. Lovely butterflies too. So they like Bronze Fennel? I have lots of it. Good luck to your wife and her first day back at the grindstone.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What beautiful wildlife you get to see. I would love to see a turtle and her nest. I love the anole, I'm sure he's very happy in your yard.

Heather said...

Once again your photography skills are amazing! I am going to start trying to get pics of the butterflies and dragonflies I find in my yard. I plant things I hope they will like and the last two years I have had many more than in the past. Your info is always inspiring!

Roy said...

Hi Randy,
Thanks for the chance to visit your Blog.
It is full of some truly amazing photography.
Roy

sweet bay said...

Beautiful! I especially like the picture of the Carolina Anole.

Ali Iyoob said...

Great pics!