Friday, August 29, 2014

Giant Swallowtail at Northampton Community Gardens

Today we dropped off our son at UMass Amherst.  After hearing reports of terrible traffic jams due to the move-in plus the holiday weekend, my husband decided that we should leave early in the morning, even though we had a move in time of 2PM.  Since we had time to kill once we were in the area, we drove over to Northampton Community Gardens where I happily looked for butterflies.  I didn't have my camera with me, so these photos are from my phone.

Species seen:

American Copper
American Lady
Black Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Clouded Sulphur
Eastern Tailed Blue
Giant Swallowtail
Great Spangled Fritillary
Least Skipper
Monarch (one!)
Peck's Skipper
Silver Spotted Skipper

I saw Tom G. of the Mass Butterfly Club and spoke with him for a few minutes.  We checked his rue for Giant Swallowtail eggs, and I found one just before I had to leave.  He has planted several plots with this beautiful combination of verbena surrounded by red and white zinnias.  There were Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds nectaring around the garden on different flowers, and I photographed one in Tom's zinnias.  It just doesn't show up in the quality of photo I took with my phone.

I was pleasantly surprised to see two more Giant Swallowtails just outside the dorm at UMass, while we were waiting for the elevator.  One the way home, we stopped in Worcester for dinner at The Sole Proprietor.  A Common Nighthawk flew over the parking lot as we walked into the restaurant, so I added a bird to my year list too.

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