Saturday, May 01, 2010

A Butterfly Frenzy

When our neighbors' sage bushes bloomed last year, a whole cloud of these big black and iridescent blue butterflies enveloped them in a frenzy of feeding.

Another neighbor's yellow kitten was mystified by all the butterflies, and she kept leaping up and trying to capture them. Fortunately, she never succeeded. 

A small swarm of bees joined the butterflies--those big, fat, yellow and black bumblebees. They were just as excited about the flowers as the butterflies were. A mockingbird squawked warnings at the kitten, which apparently was too close to the nest of mockingbird children. She occasionally dive-bombed the kitten, who ignored the bird--too busy with butterflies.

The underside of the butterflies' wings were blue and black with a curved line of orange spots. An Internet search shows that they are pipevine swallowtails. Here's another picture, showing the outside of the wings, which have a span of about three and a half inches. I took these pictures with my trusty Olympus digital camera.

Here is a linked site that has gorgeous pictures and lots of information about the pipevine swallowtail butterfly.