I’m a thinker, a teacher, and an artist. Always learning, always expanding what I do. Always trying to help.
I write music that’s probing and varied, unique and appealing. Hear what I’ve done.
I’ve wondered about these big butterflies, which come to our front and back yards.
I’ve wondered how they live, what their lifecycle is. I don’t see them elsewhere in DC, the city we live in, not in our neighborhood or elsewhere.
But I’ll sit on our porch, and watch five of them drink from the pink flowers in the photo. Sometimes they’ll fly off, going down the block, or across the street, or high into a tree, flying so fast that — seeing them from a distance — I first thought they were birds.
Where do they go when they’re not with us? How do they find the pink flowers? Where do they go when it rains?
That last question is easy. Butterflies, I read, hide under leaves when it rains.
And the rest became at least a little clear, when I read about Tiger Swallowtails’ lifecycles. They don’t live long, just under two weeks, in the spring and summer. They feed, mate, lay eggs in trees.
When the caterpillars hatch, they eat leaves in the trees, then stay dormant all winter. Come spring and summer, they cocoon. and emerge in two broods as butterflies.
So — amateur entomology alert — they can find our pink flowers right where they are. They fly down from the trees! And can live their whole lifecycle here, hatching, emerging, flying down to our bushes, flying up to the trees, laying eggs…
Which would explain why I don’t see them elsewhere. Not that they aren’t other places in DC, but maybe some once established themselves near us, and their descendants don’t have to go anywhere else.