We came upon this unhuggable lovely caterpillar in a Floyd County garden recently, a spike-adorned (but not poisonous) two-inch-long precursor to some variety of butterfly.
Butterflies. Summer. We’re usually awash in swallowtails in July. Our butterfly bush, out the window and about two-arms-reach from where I sit is in full flower this morning. Other than the gentle bobbing of the white spires of perfumed flower spikes, there’s no motion at all: no skippers, no fritillaries, no tiger or spicebush swallowtails.
Is this just a normal cycle? I don’t remember, in the dozen years we’ve lived here, ever not having swallowtails by the hundreds. This past winter was mild. We’ve not had severe drought over the spring or early summer when butterflies would break out of their temporary housing and launch off into the sunshine. So where are they?