From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Butterfly Moment

More About Birds and Animals...



Spicebush swallowtail?



This beautiful black butterfly was basking in the sunshine at the edge of the road this morning. Or maybe it was looking for a drop of dew caught in a leaf. It gave me just a moment to photograph it before it flitted away.

Honestly, I'm no expert on butterflies. Maybe Collagemama will set me straight if I'm wrong, because she seems to know butterflies much better than I do.

I am quite sure it's a swallowtail of some sort. It might be a spicebush swallowtail. The blue patches are the right shape and color. The wing shape seems right. The border of white spots seems right.

The one thing that's making me wonder is those two little yellow spots on the lower inner edge of its wings. Those spots are bright orange in most photos of the spicebush swallowtail that I examine. In fact, bright orange spots in that location are one of the identifying characteristics of the species.

So I am not sure. Maybe it's a juvenile spicebush that just recently emerged from its chrysalis. Maybe it's a spicebush with a natural variation of color. Or maybe it's an entirely different butterfly.

I do know one thing though -- a person sure can waste invest a lot of time in looking up non-vital information on the internet.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.