Butterflies off Banks of Noon


Swallowtail Alight

“Butterflies off banks of noon

Leap, plashless as they swim.”

from Emily Dickinson’s A Bird Came Down the Walk



  • Wonderful picture, Kym. It is an Anise Swallowtail. They love hilltops and the larva feeds on fennel. For me, they have a magical quality. I have seen them on top of Lassic Peak. Not much fennel up there.

  • We have quite a bit of fennel up here. But, I thought this was a tiger swallowtail (not that I know that much) What is the difference between the two kinds?

    This one flitted onto the houndstongue and flirted with me for 30 seconds or more. This early in the spring its hard to get butterflies to settle. They’re as restless as kids the day before Christmas vacation.

  • I love it! The contrast between the flowers and the butterfly is gorgeous! Such a nice reminder that better weather is on the way.

  • Today felt like summer. I’m not sure how warm it was but, as I was hiking up the long hill back home, I thought–just for a moment–about frost 8)

  • The Tiger Swallowtail is a bit larger and the stripes run down the wings, an Anise Swallowtail has a black bar across the top of the upper wings. Later in the spring the Pale Tiger Swallowtails appear. They seem almost white. I collected butterflies as a kid. Now I use a camera instead of a net. Much better.

  • Thanks Ben. I’m wanting learn more about butterflies but, I’ll stick to cameras instead of mounting boards 8)

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