Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly on a Zinnia Flower

Sunday, September 25, 2022,

This is a female Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly alighting upon a Zinnia flower. Do you know how I know? It is solely because I know several people that are much smarter and more informed than I am. To be quite honest, most of the folks I am acquainted with tend to be much more intelligent than myself. Of course, that’s not a very high bar. 🙂 

Friends of mine were able to identify both the flower and the butterfly for me. Actually, I had correctly guessed that this was an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly, but my friend Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, who is a scientist at Cornell University, was able to further identify this beautiful critter as female. How cool is that? I told you I knew smart people. 🙂 JK 

 

Two Fawns at Sweetbriar

Thursday, August 11, 2022,

I spent this past Sunday as I always do: volunteering at Sweetbriar Nature Center. It’s my favorite day of the week. I love working with the animals, and I love interacting with the public. I meet so many good folks. I may be tired at the end of the day, but I am always smiling.

As I was getting ready to leave, I spied a pair of fawns in the south field. Luckily, I happened to have one of my cameras with me. I didn’t have my big lens, but my 200mm was lens enough. It rocks in the low light of the early evening, which is just one of the reasons I like it so much. 

Anyways, back to the story at hand. Upon seeing the fawns, I grabbed my camera and began shooting. As must be obvious from these shots, they knew I was there, but allowed me to take my pics. They took turns being brave. In the first two photos, we have Fawn One. In the last photo, you can see Fawn Two. Gross as this may be to mention, the placement of tics on their ears helps to differentiate between the two. Also, the notching on Fawn Two’s ears, which are probably a result of insects or infections, are another way to discern differences between the two.

There’s a chance that I know who the mother of these two beauties is, but I won’t know till later in the season, when Mama White-tails start showing up with their kids as a whole family. In the spring and much of the summer, the does tend to keep their kids hidden. This is largely a safety issue, although who knows? Maybe the Moms are just waiting to make sure their kids aren’t total jerks. Or, worse, possibly by hiding their kids, they’re trying to remain on the singles circuit.  🙂    JK