So, the coolest thing happened on Tuesday after work. I went down the alley across the street, where some of our outdoor feral (and non-feral) cats like to hang out. I go check down there most days to make sure nothing is amiss. About 4 houses down, there is a yard backing up to the alley with a ton of oleanders–very common here in Phoenix, we have them in our yard, too–and all of a sudden I saw butterflies everywhere! It was like being in a butterfly garden! There were at least ten of them.
These are Giant Swallowtails, a large butterfly that can measure up to 5 inches. These guys were more like 3 inches. They were flying in and out of the oleanders, frequently lighting. I rushed home to get my camera and went back. Unfortunately, it was a rare cloudy day in Phoenix and, amongst the huge oleanders, it was even darker so these are all flash photos…not my favorite way to get a shot.
But, still, I’m happy to have these as I seldom see butterflies and, if I do, I never have my camera with me.
Several had very torn and tattered wings but it didn’t seem to impede their flying ability. They were gorgeous.
Wednesday evening I went back to the alley with camera in tow. But I only saw 2 and they were extremely elusive, almost never landing. And, it was still overcast so I still had to use the flash. This series of photos is mostly from the first night but a couple are from the second night.
Tonight–Thursday–I went back. It was sunny, the way it normally is. Were they there? No, I didn’t see any at all. I guess they were just passing through, sadly.
But I finally captured the elusive butterfly, the same year I also captured the elusive hummingbird. 2011 is a big year for me.
They can live up to 8 months so I hope they still have many happy, flight-filled days ahead.
Bye, butterflies. Come back anytime.