Sunday, 11 August 2013

butterfly!

A very special visitor came to my garden today:

I am so thrilled.  I've designed my garden to be a bee and butterfly garden, and this means I've done it right.  The phlox is the flower the butterfly is on, and it just bloomed earlier this week. The butterfly is a giant swallowtail, the largest kind of butterfly found in Canada, rare in Canada, usually found only in Southern Ontario at Point Pelee when it does come.  Only recorded once before in Ottawa, in 1992, according to the Butterflies of Canada government site I found.  So I am awed and feel like I've been visited by a very special butterfly indeed. (You can click on the photo to make it bigger.)

I am having a lazy, lovely sunny Sunday, and am about to settle down with Devil's Peak by Deon Meyer, one of his early mysteries featuring Benny Griessel.  I hope you have wonderful surprises in store for you today, and a lazy day as well.

19 comments:

Debi said...

Awesome, Susan! And what a beautiful picture!!! I'd never seen a giant swallowtail in my life before this summer. Tiger swallowtails all the time, but never a giant swallowtail. And this year, I've seen them on three different occasions! In fact, I just took some pics of the one visiting our butterfly bush yesterday. :)

Cath said...

We saw swallowtails in the US when we were there but the common variety I'm sure. I have to say your North American butterflies are rather impressive! Lovely photo.

I wasn't sure where Point Pelee was so I looked it up. It's there on Lake Erie, and I see that when we stayed in Port Clinton and visited the Bass Islands we were almost directly across the lake from the point. Also surprised to see Sandusky there. It was mentioned in the book I just finished - The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier - as the end of the line for runaway slaves escaping to Canada from The South. I had no idea I'd been so close when I was reading the book. Life is full of these strange little coincidences.

Susan said...

Debi: that is awesome, you've seen them three times now! Is your butterfly bush blooming? Mine isn't yet, it's really slow to grow this year. I'll go see if you have posted your butterfly picture on your blog (this is a big hint, by the way!). I think I've seen tiger swallowtails occasionally, usually I see the Monarchs and the ones that look like them - painted ladies, etc. They are lovely, aren't they, and so huge, the giant swallowtails?

Cath: coincidence is right! that is kind of incredible, isn't it, that the book you were just reading ends up close to Point Pelee, and that it's a spot you went near to when you were over here, without knowing! Maybe you need another visit, and you know between Debi and I you have the northeast covered...Pat in Florida... :-) lots of places to stay!

the giant swallowtail is the largest butterfly in Canada. It was bigger than some birds! so lovely. I'm so glad it stayed on the flower long enough for me to run inside for the camera, come out, and get some photos :-)

raidergirl3 said...

Lovely! enjoy your day and Meyer.

Cath said...

We certainly do need another visit! Peter and I have often fielded the idea of hiring a camper van (I forget what you call them - RVs?) and pootling around Canada and the USA for 6 months. My problem would be being away from my daughters and grandkids that long. But I know if was willing Peter would start organising straight away. Oh yes, plenty of people to look in on, park the van somewhere and visit with you, Pat, friends in Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Ohio. Someone in Wyoming offered to show us around, also Washington DC, and I fancy there would be others that even though I don't know them quite so well would volunteer to show us their area. We could have the most amazing holiday. I'm not sure what I'm waiting for. LOL.

Stefanie said...

Oh how beautiful! Good work on the gardening. Isn't it great when it all pays off with something like that butterfly?

Susan said...

raidergirl: thank you! I am still plowing through the Meyer - enjoying it, well written, it's just not easy to find time to read, other things going on in my life. I am enjoying seeing the early Benny Griessel too.

Cath: So come visit!!! I know, it's a big trip....just know that you will always be welcome here :-) I would love to meet you, and so many other bloggers, some day.

Stefanie: thank you! It was so satisfying when the butterfly came. Later that day I saw a few others, and the bees, and I was really contented that my garden is working. It is a great feeling of wonder and excitement, isn't it? It makes all the care and hard work of gardening seem not so much, to have bees and butterflies in the garden!

Becca said...

I love butterflies, and we're seeing a lot here in our new neighborhood, plus a lot of new birds.

Susan said...

Becca: sometimes a change brings so many new and wonderful things, doesn't it? that's wonderful, that there are plenty of gardens and food for the butterflies and birds. Have you noticed any birds that you really like?

Care said...

Butterflies!!! I get so excited when I butterfly flutters by... so cool.

Susan said...

Care: I do too! When I was trying to find what this one I saw was, I came across the names and pictures of so many others, and now when I see a butterfly, I wonder which one it is and try to name it! There are more out there - different kinds - so many different kinds - than I had known, or even imagined. At least up here in Canada. I get ridiculously full of joy when I see one go by :-)

Jeane said...

Beautiful! It's so thrilling to see what you've worked for in your garden have the expected results, isn't it? I don't think I've ever seen a giant swallowtail, either.

Susan said...

Jeane: thank you so much! It is so rewarding, too. Every time I look at my garden now, I see butterflies, and it's so exciting. Lots of bees too, finally, they were slow to come out this summer. It's so satisfying to know I am helping them to get food and survive.

Molly said...

I LOVE this challenge, but sadly have not participated in years. Perhaps 2013 could be the year I begin again...

I absolutely adored The Thirteenth Tale and am thrilled to hear the author has another book available. I will definitely check that out.

It looks like you will have a fun fall filled with reading :)

Susan said...

Molly: you love Thirteenth Tale too! Ok, I will have to read it this year. I've it for several years now, because Pat loves it so much. I'll try it again :-) and really hope this is the year I can get into it.

I hope you come back to this challenge, too, and try it.

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