Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Spring in the Desert, Part 4

Springtime in the desert also brings butterflies. Especially at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix where stands a screened-in pavilion full of the colorful little critters. Here we see a Zebra Longwing which is native to the southeastern United States and places south. In fact, it is the official butterfly of the state of Florida.

This is a Painted Lady found almost worldwide. She is lucky to have the entire orange slice on which to feed.

Next is a White Sulfur butterfly who also has cousins with yellow wings. They are everywhere — some varieties are even considered pests. Note that the Desert Botanical Garden takes great care to prevent escapees. The pavilion has a double-door entrance and exit — as well as helpers who visually inspect each guest as they leave to make sure they do not have any Lepidopteran hitchhikers.

This is a Buckeye which is widespread over North and Central America — but particularly common in California. The distinctive eye-spots likely serve to startle or distract predators, especially young birds.

Next we encounter a Julia butterfly — native from Brazil to southern Texas and Florida. One interesting note from Wikipedia,"The species is popular in butterfly houses because it is long-lived and active throughout the day".

This interesting little fellow is a White Peacock — native to the southeastern United States, Central America and much of South America. The males are very territorial and will defend their 15-meter diameter space from other insects as well as rival members of their own species.

This beautiful butterfly is a Pipevine Swallowtail and is native to North and Central America. The blue part of the wings is iridescent — and is truly marvelous in person (the photo does not do it justice).

Last (for today) but certainly not least is the Giant Swallowtail, the largest butterfly found in North America with a wingspan of 100–160 mm (3.9–6.3 in).

Note: Yesterday was the final day to visit the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Butterfly Pavilion for the springtime exhibit. The next showing will be Monarchs in the fall. To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com