Saturday, July 2, 2011

Swallowtail Butterflies and American Goldfinches

I'm in Colorado again visiting family. There seems to be a large number of many little creatures in Loveland this year, which could be explained by the fact that they've had an unusually high amount of snowmelt and rainfall and some of the lower mountain towns have daily flooding in the streets.

I've spent a lot of time in my daughter's backyard and I've noticed her neighbor's tree seems to be the center of attraction for many little creatures in the neighborhood. I see many swallowtail butterflies in the neighborhood and they all seem attracted to this tree.

I watched one for about twenty minutes this afternoon. I don't know if it was playing, or searching for something, but it would fly around the perimeter of the neighbor's house, then into the tree, fluttering through the leaves and branches, then start around the house again. I kept waiting for it to land so I could take a picture, but it didn't seem interested in settling down. There are over 550 species of these large, colorful butterflies, but the ones I've seen in my neighbor's yard are all yellow with black stripes. Back in Texas, I've seen many varieties.

I don't know what type of tree the neighbor has in her front yard, but it seems to be a happy place for little creatures. It also attracts a wide variety of birds. I photographed a stunning brown bird, which I have not been able to identify. I also photographed an American Goldfinch, which was watching my granddaughter as she walked beneath the tree. My granddaughter could not see the bird, but you can tell by the photograph, the bird obviously could see her! It was a magical moment watching the bird follow my granddaughter as she strolled around the grass, staring up through the leaves. I think the bird was actually enjoying the fact that she was secretly spying on the little girl!

No comments: