Urban Garden Denver Blog

Chasing Butterflies

I was sitting on the front porch enjoying some ice tea this morning when I saw an enormous butterfly flitting about the garden. I ran into the house and got the camera, then ran around the yard snapping pictures of places the butterfly had just been, since it was dancing quickly around the yard. After a little while, the butterfly paused for a drink on the echinacea (coneflower) across the fence in my neighbor’s yard. I snapped the picture, capturing the beauty of this large creation.

Swallowtail Butterfly

I walked around the front and back yard to see if I could catch a glimpse of the butterfly again, but it had flitted on to another yard. Since the butterfly was so large and beautiful, I went online to see if I could identify the species. According to the Gardens with Wings website, it is a Two-Tailed Swallowtail, which is found in the western US and is the state butterfly of Arizona. This butterfly has a wingspan of 3-1/2″ to 5″. The one flitting around my yard was probably more than 4″. What a treat to see if dance around my garden this morning!

The Gardens with Wings website has great information on flowers to plant to attract butterflies, and also a zip code feature that will show butterflies that are common to your area. It is a good resource as we approach the fall planting season and the time of year to evaluate what worked in the garden and what to do differently next year.

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  1. * Elisa Morgan says:

    I love the phrase “snapping pictures of where the butterfly had just been.” A great metaphor! So much of our attention fits this phrase. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 6 months ago

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