The Butterfly – Harbinger of Spring?

Two days ago, I saw a butterfly flitting about in the back garden. Today I saw another one. Can Spring be far away when these beauties begin to thrill us with their delicate colors and graceful flight?

Way down south, here in Alabama, we share out environment with upwards of 50 different butterflies. They add more color to our world, pollinate flowers, and eat undesirable plants. They represent endurance, change, hope, and life. What butterflies would we see if we kept our eyes open?

Without a doubt, the king of butterflies – the Monarch is the most gorgeous, and best known. Native to North and South America, they can be seen now as far away as Australia, the Pacific Islands, and even in some places around Europe.


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My favorite, and the one I see most often, is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. These butterflies, with a wingspan of 8-14 cm, produce 2-3 broods per season. They lay their eggs in certain trees such as poplar, tulip trees, apple, and several others. They are a real joy to watch!

2-Eastern Swallowtail

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The Viceroy closely resembles the Monarch, but has a black median line across the hindwing. Their territory covers most of the contiguous US as well as Mexico and Canada. Gorgeous creatures, they are!


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As an old Navy man, I’m naturally partial to the Red Admiral. Just look at him; ain’t he a beaut? He flutters about here in North America, but can also be seen in Europe and Asia. Admirals like the nectar of Buddleia and overly ripe fruit. In northern Europe you’ll find them feeding on the flowers of ivy on sunny days.

4-Red Admiral

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Lastly, I’ll include the Eastern Pine Elfin. He’s an oddly colored creature and if I’m honest, he creeps me out just a bit. As his name implies, he spends his time in pine thickets and around juniper trees. He’s terrifyingly pretty, but I generally get a bad case of the heebie-jeebies if he lands on me!

5-Eastern Pine Elfin

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What kind of butterflies might we see in your area? Are you a butterfly watcher? Do you, as I do, plant flowers with butterflies in mind?

As always, I sure do appreciate you coming by today. When I see you’ve visited or liked a post it makes my heart sing. If I see you’ve left a comment for me, I’m just right over the moon! Being that you’re out and about on the web anyway, why not pop over to Amazon and get a copy of New Yesterdays for your reading pleasure? Pick up an extra copy or three for the young folk in your life. They’ll thank you for it and Ol’ Big Jim will too! Just click either of those highlighted links and, presto! Like magic, you’ll be off on a delightful journey!



About Ol' Big Jim

Ol' Big Jim, has been a storekeeper, an embalmer, a hospital orderly, a medical biller, and through it all, a teller of tall tales. Many of his stories, like his first book, New Yesterdays, are set in his hometown of Piedmont, Alabama. For seven years, he lived in the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Amman, Jordan where he spends his time trying to visit each one of the thousands of Ammani coffee shops and scribbling in his ever-present notebook. These days, you can find him back stateside, still filling notebooks.
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5 Responses to The Butterfly – Harbinger of Spring?

  1. In South Texas, we see many Monarchs but few of the others. I’ll have to keep an eye out. Thanks for the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jaysquires says:

    Lovely bunch of photos and some good info. Probably Monarchs here. I need you to ship me out some of the ones that eat undesirable weeds. My Dandelions are growing so tall in my rose garden that birds are building their nests in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jaysquires says:

    By the way, I think you need to RE-follow I see you have my Jaysquires’ Stickywords as the blog you follow. That is defunct.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ol' Big Jim says:

      I think I may have already followed bondingfyre. I got this message when I tried to subscribe:
      Subscribe to Blog via Email
      There was an error when subscribing. Please try again.


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