Accurately recording the butterflies seen in the garden this year is one of my goals, so I’m doing a bit of record keeping this afternoon to help me keep track.
Most of the time it is just a coincidence when I happen to spot one. That was the case at late morning when I noticed a Black Swallowtail flying around a front side border. It came to rest on some mulch in the front side bed and was patient for a brief time while I tried for a picture. Soon though I got too close. It lifted up and flew off over the house.
I scurried to the back garden to see if I could relocate the black swallowtail. Sure enough there was a butterfly in the meditation circle, but it proved to be a different one.
With a frantic flight pattern the butterfly darted from flower to flower, ignoring the usually popular verbena bonariensis in favor of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’. I’ve been planning to clear out much of this penstemon from the meditation circle to make the path walkable again. But I may leave it a while longer. Bees love it and last year hummingbirds darted through it frequently, though I’m not sure if they fed.
With help from iNaturalist I identified the butterfly as a Pipevine Swallowtail.
The first butterfly I saw this morning, the black swallowtail, got away. I didn’t see it again today. No photo but I did see another Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) to add to my 2021 inventory.