Beautiful anise swallowtail visiting
Today this anise swallowtail visited the wild red valerian flowerheads, still in full bloom.
Look at all that pale colored pollen on its face, legs and edges of its wings.
This was a particularly beautiful swallowtail, very energetic and with perfect markings.
I suspect this is a young swallowtail, recently emerged from its chrysalis, because the wings showed no signs of damage or tears.
There is a lot of fennel growing tall along one of our neighbor's driveways, and that is probably where this swallowtail's host plant is.
Red valerian grows wild near our kitchen door.
Although it is invasive around here, and not a native plant, I leave the plants alone and cut them back only after they have bloomed.
They are good nectar sources at this time of year when many other plants are going dormant.
Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds are frequent visitors.