Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's all about diversity



A Zebra Swallowtail--not unusual, by any means.
Yet, in our woods, rare.
A treasure to find, a fleeting moment--sipping moisture from sand at a nearby lake.



And I wondered why it is I seldom see one.
In our sprawling fields of wildflowers and dense oak and hickory woods.
For we have so many others that choose to visit our growing, green space.

Yet, as much as we have, something is missing.
A Pawpaw tree--the single plant that this butterfly feeds upon as a caterpillar.
With long, draping leaves and a crooked spindly stem,
others are far more lovely.

For as I may not miss its graceless presence in these woods, its absence means the world to a butterfly.


It is believed that the Paw Paw has disappeared from much of its natural US habitat due to the harvesting of virgin forests. Paw Paw seedlings are sensitive to ultraviolet light, and do not re-establish themselves once the forest has been clear cut.
More info here.

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30 comments:

kate smudges said...

The Zebra Swallowtail is beautiful, made all the more special by its rare visits, I would imagine!

Mary said...

Beautiful! Makes me want to rush out and plant a pawpaw tree!

Mary said...

Now I'm off to Google Pawpaw tree. We must have one somewhere! The only Zebra Swallowtails I've seen are fluttering like mad.

Petunia said...

A beautiful Z!!!
Well done!
Petunia's ABC

Your EG Tour Guide said...

What a beautiful butterfly! No pawpaw trees here in central Ontario so I guess I'll never see one here. Oh, well.

RuneE said...

Nice Z - you have taught me something new. I always appreciate that.

Kim said...

Beautiful butterfly. I have never seen one before, although I'm not sure we have Pawpaw trees in northeast Ohio. I will have to keep my eyes out next time I go home.

Gary said...

Great Z post - and beautiful photo's of a rare beauty.

Gary
Bodge's Bulletin

Müge Tekil said...

Dear Nina,

I have never seen a Zebra Swallowtail. I was even not aware of the existence of such a butterfly! It's very beautiful! Thank you for these informative and very beautiful photos and explanations!

Have a great Wednesday!

Granny Smith said...

I have photos of tiger swallowtails but have never encountered this beauty. Thank you for sharing.

leslie said...

What an amaZing butterfly! I've never seen one like it before and I love your photos. Good job! :D

Tom said...

Hi Nina-

The hotspot for Zebra Swallowtails, I have found, is south in the Ohio counties along the Ohio River. Great shots, this is one of my favorites.

Tom @ Ohio Nature

CaBaCuRl said...

A beautiful creature, and your pictures are simply breathtaking, truly. What a treat for ABC Wednesday...thank you.

Judy said...

Very good post along with great pictures.

ellen b said...

So pretty. The information along with the photos is very interesting, too. have a great week...

Kjerstis Hjørne said...

wow! lovely Z-choice!

Kjerstis Hjørne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CrazyCath said...

What a beautiful creature! And excellent shots. Love them. I have never seen this sort of butterfly before (even in pictures.) Thanks for this.

babooshka said...

I have never seen one of these in the flesh, but aren't they beautiful. Excelleny choice and image.

Lynette said...

What a wonderful ABC Wednesday post. Thanks!

photowannabe said...

A beautiful zebra butterfly and thanks for sharing all the interesting facts about them.

picturing said...

wonderful z butterfly

Visit me in here Thanks

Juliana RW said...

nice series of ur butterfly

Mine in here At My Imaginary. Thanks

Christine said...

Fantastic shots! Very well done!

Blue said...

A supurb & with wonderful photo's of a lovely butterfly

Bear Naked said...

Fantastic photos and beautiful butterfly.

Bear((( )))

scienceguy288 said...

I have one in my museum. Very nice coloration.

Katney said...

A beautiful butterfly and a lesson for us all.

starnitesky said...

Excellent photos of a beautiful butterfly.

david mcmahon said...

Nina, they're beautiful shots. Thank you.