Sunday, August 20, 2023

Pipevine Swallowtail

 They fluttered all over, in and around the Smoky Mountains, wings beating so fast it was difficult to really see their markings. Darting from flower to flower then stopping for a mineral fuel-up from puddles on the swimming pool’s concrete, I marveled at the flamboyance of the pipevine swallowtails. Those brilliant spots are a warning. Early life as caterpillars feeding on pipe vines makes them unappetizing or even toxic to predators. So they go about their business and, once in a while open their wings to reveal a swath of gorgeous iridescent blue. Then they are off to sample the next flower.