Playing in the dirt.

Content note: This post contains images of an insect, specifically a butterfly.

It’s amazing the diversity that shows up in the yard, much of it coming to take advantage of our bumper crop of dandelions, though we do offer a few other treats for the weary insect traveler.  Once I can identify the various blooming plants around here, I’ll be looking into whether they’re native plants, harmless imports, or noxious/invasive species.  Anything in that last category will have to go (and a job of work it will be, over a whole acre), but I’ll be looking to replace it with something native that fills the same niche.

Yesterday’s flashiest visitor was this swallowtail butterfly.  I think it’s a Pale Tiger Swallowtail, due to the almost-white yellow patches, and the extra orange on the hindwings.  If there were less orange, I could see it being the much more common Western Tiger Swallowtail, but the spot pattern suggests that it is the less common variety.  Which is kind of exciting, really, to get an uncommon species right here in the yard.

A Pale Swallowtail butterfly on a dandelion.

Stopping for a snack.

A Pale Swallowtail butterfly on a dandelion.

Check out my 4 inch wingspan!

A Pale Swallowtail butterfly on a dandelion, wings folded back.

Woah, it’s a little windy out here. Almost fell off!

A Pale Swallowtail butterfly flying over dandelions. The orange and blue hindwing spots are fully displayed.

Beauty in motion.

Some of the tasty flowers in the yard.  I have no idea which qualify as wildflowers, and which qualify as weeds.

Small pointy-leaved plant with tiny blue trumpet-shaped flowers.

Blue trumpets, about three inches high.

 

Small ground cover plants with clusters of orange flowers.

Orange blossom ground cover.

A closeup of the orange flower clusters on a small ground cover plant.

Orange blossom closeup.

Pointy yellow flower.

Pointy. Yellow. Wildflower or weed?

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