Posts Tagged ‘Ptelea trifoliata’

Giant Swallowtail Prevents Blogging

You may wonder why I have not written a blog post recently.

It seems there is a story that will explain all.

A few days ago, I was meandering down the hill toward the nursery when I suddenly spied a giant swallowtail butterfly.

I paused and analyzed the situation.  Then I realized that the butterfly was not where I expected her to be.

I know that giant swallowtail caterpillars prefer to browse on members of the citrus family (Rutaceae).   Adults seek out these plants and lay their eggs on citrus trees, trifoliate orange, rue and wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata).  The caterpillars hatch smack on top of their preferred food source.

I knew that there were three cute little wafer ash trees in my nursery.  I had been watching for the giant butterflies to visit and deposit their eggs.  I had seen none.

Why was this one  rebellious giant swallowtail flitting about in the edge of the woods?  On closer examination, I realized that there was indeed a citrus cousin – the toothache tree or Hercules Club tree (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) – in residence.

So… I hot-footed it back to the house to get my camera.  And when I arrived, she was still there prospecting for the best spot on which to lay her eggs.  I focused in for the perfect shot and she precipitously flew away.

So for days now.  I’ve stalked the site – camera in hand.  I have vowed not to write a blog post until I have a “giant swallowtail on the toothache tree” picture to accompany.

Today I finally put my little foot down and decided that I must blog on.

Surely there will someday be a picture of a beautiful giant swallowtail butterfly lovingly interacting with said toothache tree.  I will post it proudly with much commentary.

For now I’ll post this.

By the way, if I did post the perfect pic of the perfect giant swallowtail butterfly on the tree that has the perfect Latin name, I would have called this post “If You Plant it They Will Come”.

I think that I prefer “Giant Swallowtail Prevents Blogging”.

Hope that doesn’t attract too many pornographers.


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