Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Butterfly Party

Yesterday we were visited by a swarm of black swallowtail butterflies, dancing and spinning and playing with each other, 10 or 12 of them all flying near the upper koi pond. We commonly see these guys, but they seem always to be on some practical and solitary business, commuting from or to home, wherever that is.

But yesterday they flipped and dived and partied with childish enthusiasm for at least an hour. I've read that these butterflies sometime swarm and appear intoxicated, possibly over the scent of some plant. They are especially fond of dill and fennel (which we have, but in a different part of the yard) and plants in the carrot family. But the party was centered over a patch of ginger and a variety of other plants, including the new beautyberry bush.

Or maybe they are angry and trying to send one of their unfortunate cousins into exile. Or, duh, maybe they have their own emotions and behavior that we will never understand. Look closely and you can see a party, and one party pooper.
video

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