Posts Tagged ‘Asclepias tuberosa’

Normally I try to do a posting to my blog every day, but for the next three weeks my posting schedule will be much more erratic. I am in the final stages of packing my car for a trip to visit my son and his family outside of Seattle, Washington. There are multiple decision points along the way and I have not yet decided on my final route, but no matter how I go, it is likely to be about 3,000 miles (4828 km) each way.

I have some camping gear with me, including a water jug that holds six gallon (23 liter), so I may well be spending some time disconnected from the virtual world. I’ll try to take some photos along the way and will share them when I am able.

I am leaving you with a shot of a pretty little butterfly, which I think is a Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) perched on some Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa). I love the different shades of orange in the image.

In case some of you do not know it, my KIA Soul, in which I am driving out West, is orange in color. It is a coppery orange and not a pumpkin orange and it definitely stands out in a parking lot. My license plate holder has SOUL on it and my license plate itself is “BLESS MY.”

I am attaching a couple of photos of my car from January 2016, after a big snow storm. So many of us throughout the Northern Hemisphere are suffering from oppressive heat and I thought that the sight of snow might cool us off a little. I’ll close with a joke that I say on-line today that is a perfect fit for my quirky sense of humor—”Just be thankful that it is not snowing. Imagine shoveling snow in this heat!”

KIA Soul

KIA Soul

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.


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On Monday I spotted this small patch of Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. True to its name, the Butterfly Weed had attracted several butterflies, which I think are Pearl Crescent butterflies (Phyciodes tharos), as well as several metallic green sweat bees (genus Agapostemon). The insects seemed to love the plant’s nectar and the scene provided a visual feast for viewers like me.

butterfly weed

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.


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This past weekend I spotted a black swallowtail fluttering about some bright orange flowers, never stopping for more than a split second. Could I get a shot before it flew away?

Well, I managed to get some shots and then came the tough part—figuring out which black-colored swallowtail I had captured. How hard can that be? For a casual observer like me, there were at least three candidates that immediately came to mind—the black version of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, the Spicebush Swallowtail, and the Pipevine Swallowtail. I recalled that one of the key indicators is the pattern of the orange spots, but I couldn’t remember which one had which pattern.

After some quick research, I’ve concluded this is probably a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor). I was also really taken by the orange plant and think it might be butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), a type of milkweed that, as its name suggests, attracts butterflies.

Pipevine swallowtail

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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How do you approach each day? Do you embrace it with all of your energy, like this bumblebee seems to be doing as it leaps into a patch of Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)? Most mornings, my body needs the stimulation of coffee and bright colors like those in this photo have the same effect in awakening my other senses.

I had never seen Butterfly Weed until a few days ago, when I encountered it at a local garden, and I was immediately captivated by its vibrant color. According to Wikipedia, it is a species of milkweed native to North America that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds (and obviously bees too).

I love the unusual position of this bee. It looks like he is skydiving, gliding through the air.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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