Dutchman’s Pipe & The Pipevine Swallowtail.

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sweet Encounter 72320” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The Pipevine Swallowtail flutters his wings to groom the flowers as he settles into place. His deft landing is so subtle that only a few grains of pollen slip onto the pedals of the flower. The scent of the sun warmed nectar fills the air around the the little stand of hibiscus bushes that we call Rose Of Sharon. He’s living the sweet life. Throughout his adult life he’ll visit and pollinate a variety of flowers and actually share a meal with humans by visiting flowers that we also consume. It had a fact that Rose Of Sharon originates in Asia and in its homeland it is consumed like a vegetable. But we’ll explore that topic on a different post. Tonight’s post is about the poison that gives the Pipevine Swallowtail it’s name. The Dutchman’s Pipe.

Image Titled “Pipevine 71420a” showing the heart shaped leaves.

The beautiful black wings with their iridescent blue highlights and bright orange spots started off as a black and red worm that fed exclusively on on a toxic vine. I have visited this particular vine on and off for a couple of years but it hasn’t been host to a brood of caterpillars yet. It also has not bloomed yet and I think that’s connected. Several of the YouTube videos that reviewed in preparation for tonight’s article mention that while the books say that the caterpillars feed on the leaves that they really go for the unopened flowers. ( For my original Pipevine Swallowtail post click here)

The Books say that Dutchman’s Pipe is found on rich riverbanks but the only difference between a river and a creek is the length. And this little vine on my creek is proof that Dutchman’s Pipe doesn’t care about where a stream begins or ends. All it wants is the right sun and soil.

Image Titled “Dutchman’s Pipe 42720” showing the growth and climbing pattern.

My first encounter with this native vine was in early Spring. Without the heart shaped leaves I mistook it for Moonseed and ignored it at first. But I did think that in a few years the spiraling pattern would leave me with an interesting walking stick. But a few weeks later the leaves began to come out and show me that I had misjudged the vine.

Image Titled “Awakening Pipevine”.

I could already tell that the leaves were not right for Moonseed.

The vine gets it’s name from the serpentine shaped flowers flowers which this particular vine has failed to produce so far. While the garden varieties often have large showy flowers the wild variety is a little more subdued. The ones that I’ve seen are small in comparison and greenish yellow. But what they all have in common is that they are a far cry from the sweet scented Rose Of Sharon in tonight’s feature image. In fact the flowers of Dutchman’s Pipe smell like rancid meat and are pollinated by flies.

Image Titled “Dutchman’s Pipe 61520”. Unfortunately the vine has not bloomed this year.

The flower if it had bloomed this year actually traps it’s pollenators and holds them prisoner until the job is done.

Even though I didn’t get to see the unique flowers of the Dutchman’s Pipe this year there’s still an excellent change to find a small clutch of red eggs underneath the leaves or to see the black and red caterpillars grazing on their host.

It should be noted that this North American native species has found it’s way down under to Australia where it’s become an invasive species that is actually killing off their native butterflies. It’s odd that in some states they almost lost a beautiful pollenator in the Pipevine Swallowtail because urban development pushed out the Pipevine while our Southern neighbors in Australia are fighting to save their native butterflies due to an over abundance of Pipevine. I typically try not to bring up the current issues that we see in the news and on social media but this the very kind of thing that the Department of Agricultural fears with mysterious seeds being sent from China. The domino effect is real and if the wrong plants are allowed to cone into an area where there’s no checks on the population it can push out the natives as well as the species that have developed to depend on them.

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The Male Pipevine Swallowtail Encounter On July 26th.

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Settle 72320” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The midday sun hovers high over my mountain illuminating the patch of Rose Of Sharon bushes on the edge of my yard. As I step around the corner the freshly opened flowers are alive with bees, wasps and butterflies. I began to move in closer and when I do the butterflies retreat a little deeper into the sea of flowers. I suppose that the phrase “Chasing Butterflies” is cliche for a reason. I cautiously step into the high weeds using the camera monopod to probe for snakes until I reach the open spot where a deer had bedded down the night before. If I set still long enough they’ll come back I promised myself. The bumblebees and carpenter bees float effortlessly between blooms with so much pollen covering their bodies that they look as thought they’ve flown through a snowstorm. And then finally the sun catches the iridescent blue hind wings as they move through the thick underbrush. I waited and watched and for several minutes I thought the male Pipevine Swallowtail would work it’s way the other direction. The suddenly he turned and came back as if he suddenly remembered something that he’d forgotten. The long lens only provides a narrow opportunity for focusing in the confined space but as the butterfly hovered for a moment before landing everything came together. The buzzing of a mosquito in my right ear distracts me for moment and the reflex to deal with the annoying creature gets the better of me. But when I look back up the Pipevine Swallowtail is gone and a second mosquito is trying to land on my face. The swarm has found me and that means it’s time to step away from their hunting grounds. I’ll be back out to the patch in a few days to chase the butterflies again.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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Spring Gathering & Balance

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “The Gathering 42820a” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The midmorning sun beckons them with a golden smile. They seem to come out from everywhere. The come from the oaks and maples. They come from the violets and Trilliums. The sunbeams draw them like the piper’s tune. The gathering has begun. Dark cloaks are adorned with markings of each house as they lightly settle onto the earth. I sometimes wonder if they hold court while they mine the wet sand for their precious salt. Do they set the rules for territory as the sleeping blooms begin to rise from the ground and into their days of glory? Or do they simply accept what the creator of all things has provided? The cold heart of science describes aerial combat and vanquished rivals even among the most seemingly peaceful of creatures. And yet here in my lens there appears no rivals on the common ground. No grudges held over past offense and no jealousy between the broods. Nature values balance in all things.

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Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer

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Daily Tasks & A Lesson From A Butterfly

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pipevine Swallowtail Visiting Joe Pye Weed 82020” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The sweet scent of the wildflowers drifts in the humid air. The ever present songbirds call from hidden perches in the thick canopy. I stood there enjoying the blessings of life in Appalachia as the pipevine Swallowtail sailed in on the breeze. And deftly lit on the buds of the Joe Pye Weed. Her world is one of a constant struggle for survival and yet she carries peaceful contentment on her wings. I have to wonder if her secret is that she only concerns herself with the task at hand. When it’s time to evade the bird she dips and flips and the bird is confounded. When she’s hungry she feeds on one bloom at a time and when she’s done she dances in the wind. She has all the tasks that are common to life on planet earth but she doesn’t try to do them all at once. She simply takes care of them as the need arises and when they’re complete she leaves that task done.

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To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

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Looking Forward To Longer Days.

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pipevine Swallowtail on Blue Lobelia 9919” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

As the night shrinks away earlier and arrives later day by day I grow eager for life to return to my forest. We still have a lot of winter to endure but today I had actual, real life, daylight to enjoy as I walked out of the office of the day job! I was thrilled because that hasn’t happened since late October.

It’s a welcome sign on my natural calendar indeed. If it were within my power I would declare a national holiday on the first day that there’s real daylight at the end of the workday.

I suppose that’s what fueled my desire to post a butterfly picture tonight. The image of the pipevine Swallowtail visiting one of the wildflowers in my yard brings me back to the days that last until bedtime. I can look into the photo an mentally transport myself to that place where I can feel the sun.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤