Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spicebush Swallowtail

Today I was working in the garden re purposing the 10ft x 16ft old deck that used to be on the back of our house. It was pushed aside two years ago and I rolled it on 4 inch PVC pipes into the woods and set it up to sit and enjoy the garden from it. I really like where it is now and the upper side of it is the hellebore beds and the back side is the Dwarf Crested Patch and several of the camellias.


Anyway I saw this Spicebush Swallowtail and grabbed my little Canon G11 and took this photo. The swallowtail stopped fluttering when the clouds passed overhead and allowed me to get this shot! Normally when I want to get a photo like this I grab the big guns DSLR and 180mm macro lens.

It looks like it might have a parasite. But seemed very healthy and happy to have found my azaleas. At least 2 other Spicebush Swallowtails were flying about in the yard, they are never seen here in any kind of numbers. Meg saw our first hummingbird of the season this morning from the bathroom on this same azalea bush.



Above is half the Dwarf Crested iris patch, this was taken from about 10 foot in front of the newly re purposed deck. Note all the trees and Virginia Creeper I need to pull out of the patch.


Opened yesterday this Iris tectorum, Japanese Roof Iris. I planted one plant about 12 years ago and now I have a 5ft x 5ft x 5ft triangle of these growing in the neglected garden. I have given so many of these away I could not count them. Last year I was given a blue one, a single bloom should be open in the morning.

Also Dr Ruppel Clematis opened Friday night, it opened on a Friday last year. Clematis henrii also opened today!

Our last miniature daffodil Tiny Bubbles opened a few days ago. This is a Brent and Becky's introduction. The jury is still out as the plants barely bloomed, maybe next year they will kick some butt.

Here is one of my new favorite triandus daffodils Hawera. What I like about this daffodil is it can have 2-5 blooms per stalk and my last fall planted bulbs many of them produced up to 7 flower stalks per bulb! Makes me think this is a great naturalizer.

23 comments:

Chandramouli S said...

Ahh! I love Irises - they're lovely! What's that dirt on the butterfly?

debsgarden said...

Oh, I can imagine how delightful it is to sit on your repurposed deck in the woods! What a great idea. You have some beautiful views to enjoy from it. I recently purchased several azaleas, which were suppose to be pale pink. They started blooming this week, and to my surprise they are this much darker color, like yours. I hope the butterflies will enjoy mine as much as they seem to like yours!

Cameron said...

I saw the big display of roof iris at Raulston last year. If I only had a good place for some (I don't).

Lovely shot of the butterfly. Your garden "room" from your old deck sounds great.

NellJean said...

Great shot! I hope that later in the season they get calmer. Right now they flit and flutter.

I'm seeing Spicebush as well as Tiger Swallowtails since the azaleas bloomed. Do you think Spicebush swallowtails may be more numerous here because of abundance of sassafras around the edges of my garden?

I saw a Zebra Swallowtail the other day. Zebras usually don't appear until lantana blooms well and the paw paws leaf out.

Southern Lady said...

I enjoy your photos of butterflies. We have been seeing a lot of them lately and through your posts I am learning to identify some of them. I have yet to see a hummingbird. I keep waiting. Carla

Randy Emmitt said...

Chandramouli,
That dirt on the swallowtail looks like a parasite to me. never seen such on one before.

Deb,
We purchased three new azaleas last year, out of three bushes we got only two blooms..

Cameron,
Don't get out to Raulston as much as I'd like to. Just don't care to go to Raleigh that much any more.

Neil jean,
Spicebush Swallowtails do use sassafras and should be more common because of it. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is more common here because about one in every three trees is a Tulip Poplar.

Zebra Swallowtails are very common in early spring here before the leaves come out, never had one here in the garden, that would be butterfly number 78 if it did.

Alice and Stuart said...

Such a lovely garden you two! We love all the naturalized flowers. Perhaps when we get around to landscaping around our house we can do some trade for some of those beauties. It could be a awhile though!

Alice and Stuart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

Stunning color combination in that first photo Randy! That must have made your day! Lovely to see!! Daffs and iris too.

Michelle said...

Wonderful! The iris patch is huge. I have a small clump so far but it sure is growing fast.

Beautiful butterfly. I have been seeing a few tiger swallowtails here and there. Well, i think that's what it is.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

It suddenly seems as if Irises are everywhere! Your iris patch is lovely, and the swallowtail is just beautiful!

Meems said...

Randy,
Love that Spicebush ~ so pretty. And all your sweet little irises. Sounds like you have a good place to enjoy them now. Those daffs are a bright and cheery lot.
Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

Bangchik said...

a beautiful swallowtail... It really adds to the colour extravaganza of the new season! ~bangchik

lkw said...

Wow, what a great patch of crested iris! And a lovely photo of the spicebush swallowtail, too.

I saw a pipevine swallowtail female laying eggs this afternoon on many of the emerging shoots (of Aristolochia macrophylla) that have popped up recently. Hopefully there will be caterpillars to come.

We haven't had so many in recent years.

Lisa

tina said...

Now I'll know what to look for in a spicebush swallowtail. I added a lindera benzoin last fall so I've been hoping for some. Those crested irises are great. Mine are slow to get going. But I do have the roof iris I purchased in NC last fall (We Du Natives). It is about to bloom. I guess they multiply pretty quick if you give a lot away. I'll watch that but it sure is a pretty iris.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That is a beautiful Butterfly, love the coloring. That patch of iris is so nice, how lucky to have the space to allow it to naturalize like that.

Shady Gardener said...

Look at you! Your spicebush photo is great! I've only seen a red admiral and a white cabbage butterfly so far. ;-) Your flowers are wonderful. Happy Spring!!

Janet said...

As always I enjoy your photos of the butterflies, but this deck rolled away from the house and placed elsewhere intrigues me. I really like having a bird's eye view of my garden, what a nice treat to have the view from away from the house.
One of our MG's had some roof Iris at the plant sale a year or two ago. What a great bloom.

Just Jenn said...

Randy, I always want to just sit on your deck with a hot cup of coffee, put up my feet and look around... it seems so tranquil there. As always, beautiful photo's. Love the one of the butterfly.

Sheila said...

Everything looks beautiful and that shot of the butterfly is amazing! I never seem to capture them well in a photo!

Gail said...

Wonderful, just wonderful...I don't think there can be too many iris cristata~~Randy, there's a white named Tennessee White that you might look for at a nursery...But, with the roof iris, you might have all the white you need! I love Hawera, too....gail

sweet bay said...

What a beautiful patch of dwarf iris.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I love those daffodils! The butterfly looked perfect to me. Nice photos!

I enjoyed your earth day and pie for Seeds posts, too.