The air is thick and steamy on my mountain today. After several days of rain the ground is saturated and the water pools in the low spots. The rain came before I could work the clippings from the lawn but out here in the country that’s no big deal. But if there’s any advantage it’s that the downed grass acts like a sponge and at the same time releases minerals and sugars into the water that. It holds back. That’s a perfect world at a perfect time for the local butterflies as they begintheir breeding season. The minerals and salts are important for their reproduction. It seems that the females can even detect which males are able to provide the most and best quality salt and he’s given preference above the others.
The majority of the butterflies that gather are males. I did notice one female Pipevine while sorting through the photos. Judging by size of this gathering and knowing that in general the female butterflies outnumber the males it looks like the potential for a massive brood this year.
The mix seems to be mostly Tiger Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail and I confirmed at least one Spicebush Swallowtail all gathered in this one spot
They are so interested in this particular puddle that they barely paid attention to me as I crept up on my hands and knees for the closer shots. I have been researching ways to keep them around for the summer and hopefully we have more photos soon.
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