Thursday, April 29, 2010

Parking Lot Swallowtails

I (Teresa) was getting ready to reblaze Nells Rock Trail today when these Eastern Tiger Swallowtails set down next to the car. Not sure if it was just nice and warm, or if there was something in that gravel they liked. But they didn't want to leave and were still there when I got back.

This Spicebush Swallowtail, who was all alone, is a great example of why we need to preserve our native plants. The caterpillar of this species (which looks amazing -- see here) eats only Spicebush and Sassafrass, two native species that are sometimes killed off by invasive plants such as Burning Bush, Japanese Knotweed, or Japanese Barberry (as they are on my own property -- I'm working on that).

At any rate, the first half of Nells Rock Trail has been reblazed and the signs tidied up. I tried my CFPA-inspired template for the first time so that the blazes would be more uniform in size. It didn't work very well for me -- too slow and messy, paint dripping all over the template -- but I carried it around and used it to eyeball my blaze sizes, which should be 2" x 6" if you're following CFPA standards.

1 comment:

  1. Was the caterpillar smoking a hookah (loaded with Sassafras and Spicebush, of course)?