Up Close & Personal … The Western Swallowtail Butterfly

In my Garden, Meditation in Moments, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized, Up Close & Personal ...

It’s getting hot here in the Pacific Northwest!
Much of the western United States is dealing with excessive heat right now.
Yesterday, it was 125Β° Fahrenheit in Palm Springs!!

While most people wilt under these brutal conditions,
butterflies and hardy wildflowers come alive!

Long ago I planted a tiny seedling of this
Knautia macedonica in my wildflower corner.
It comes back with vigor every year and requires little attention from me.

The only thing I do to this plant in early spring is pull out what’s left from the year before.
And then I watch it come right back, grow and flower all summer long.
It doesn’t need much water or any fertilizer either!

In addition to being a bright color spot,
it attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.

This swallowtail really feasted on this sunny afternoon.

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

10 thoughts on “Up Close & Personal … The Western Swallowtail Butterfly”

  1. It’s very pretty Sabine, as is that Swallowtail. How lucky you are to have such beauty from this plant – gorgeous flowers and butterflies, plus hummingbirds and bees. Do they have water rationing in effect where you live? We do not, though we are in moderate drought in SE Michigan. We had a lot of rain yesterday and have a stormy weekend – tomorrow night possible severe weather. I heard a statistic today: in 1960 we had two heatwaves per year – now it is tripled to six heatwaves per year. A heatwave is five or more days of uncharacteristic heat. I thought it was ten days for some reason. The heat is one thing, but the unsettled weather, for me who is a weather worrier to begin with, has me looking forward to Fall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Linda, no water rationing here as far as I know. We do our best not to waste any but the HOA requires our grass in front of the house to be green. There is some very serious concern at the Oregon-California border over water and water rights. I know most of California has been advised to conserve water. Hopefully cool heads prevail in Southern Oregon! I’m actually enjoying the hot weather, but of course we’re not anywhere near the temps they have in the Southwest.

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      • That’s good re: the water rationing Sabine. I did not know a HOA could require green lawns – it makes sense as sometimes during a drought like we have now, by July the lawns look like Brillo pads and it’s worrisome if you are edging and you hit cement and create a spark. I always worry since we have so many people sending off large fireworks in the neighborhood. I always hope it rains on the 4th. We are set for some horrid weather tonight, sparked by this hot weather. Three rounds of storms and the threat of tornadic activity, along with high winds (60 mph) and large hail. I’d like to fast forward 12 hours. A friend and his wife moved to Los Cruces, New Mexico about five years ago. He researched to find the place in the U.S. with the most sunny days per year – it is there. He’s told me they will have 104 degrees and because it is dry heat, he sits outside reading a book in the sun and never breaks a sweat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I once took an environmental geography class at a local college and the instructor said that future wars will be fought over fresh water! I think lawns are awful because they need to be mowed all the time and in order to keep them green one has to fertilize and water them regularly too. We had applied to replace the grass with a ground cover that looks very much like grass, was draught resistant, didn’t need mowing and fertilizing. The committee denied us as they deemed it “too unusual” and that no-one else in the neighborhood had it. Oh well! Some day we will move to a place without a HOA! πŸ˜‰ I hope your weather settles down and that you can get in some pleasant walks! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • That makes sense – we overfertilize and complain about having to mow the lawn all the time. My next door neighbor fertilized the grass which is next to his house, the spot where I have the mulched area and hummingbird feeders, etc. He thought he was doing me a favor, but he only fertilized that side of my front lawn. Consequently, in the Spring (mostly), I could cut the lawn several times a week on the one side where it grows like a weed and the other side just languishes, green but nothing special. There is a corner house here in Lincoln Park and I took pictures of their garden last year (ceramic frogs and many tulips) and it is only ground cover. It looks great. I’d like that too. I was on a butterfly walk in a woman’s backyard garden and she has no grass, just mulched pathways between her perennials and it looks very nice. She does have grass in the front yard though.


  2. Oh, I am going to have to find one of these. My husband planted a butterfly bush in the back yard in view of my writing window. But this year it didn’t bloom at all. I think we need something hardy to plant to promote butterfly visits of inspiration. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Sabine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My butterfly bushes aren’t blooming yet either. I cut them way back after the February ice storm. Yours might be late too this year. The Knautia doesn’t get very tall (about 30 inches) but sure spreads out. All winged visitors love it. Even the hummers. A visit to your local nursery would be wise as they surely know what thrives in your area. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Sabine. We have a favorite nursery where we actually purchased this bush. We’ll do it. A trip to the nursery is always a pleasure. Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Brutal is right! We were in Palm Desert last week!! But, you’re so right about the wildflowers and butterflies, and these photos are amazing. The color is brilliant. Do these flowers also attract hummingbirds? Have a great week and stay cool, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Missy! πŸ™‚ I love the Palm Springs/Palm Desert area!! Lucky you to have visited. I hope that you missed the worst of this heat. The Knautia does attract hummers. They love just about every plant I have! You stay cool too, Missy!

      Liked by 1 person

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