A couple of weeks ago the weather was unseasonably hot and dry. These are photos from May 27, 2019. Lots of butterflies were visiting the garden then, flitting from one flower to the next (especially popular was Verbena bonariensis—must be quite tasty.) This is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus). Females are dimorphic and can be yellow or nearly black. Blue spots along the hindwing indicate this yellow form is female.
At some point this swallowtail apparently escaped a bad encounter, but managed to get back to lunch.
At first I thought this next one was a female dark morph of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail—I noticed it nectaring on Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue.’ The coloring didn’t quite seem right though and I finally decided it is a Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus). The spicebush has blue markings, one of which is missing its orange spot.
I followed the same butterfly around the garden. It stopped to enjoy the Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ before moving on to the verbena.
Verbena and penstemon are also popular with bees. Shown here is an Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) sampling the buffet.