It's Been A Buggy Week!

1:46 PM

You may think I'm jesting. Let me assure you that I am not...

One evening this past week, Chris and I were headed out of our neighborhood and were stopped waiting to merge into traffic on a busy street. I glanced out the window to see this Pipevine Swallowtail* sitting in the road. *Mine doesn't look like any of the photos on Wikipedia, but does look like my photo reference in my butterfly identification book. I think there is a possibility this is a female. 

Watercolor of a
Pipevine Swallowtail
Stillman & Birn Beta Bound Journal
5.5 x 8.5 inches 
 Her wings were moving, but he wasn't lifting off. I opened the door and stepped over near her and she still didn't lift off so I carefully coaxed her onto my finger.  Once I was back in the jeep, I handed her off to Chris how placed her on the floorboard.  
Detail of watercolor of a
Pipevine Swallowtail
Stillman & Birn Beta Bound Journal
5.5 x 8.5 inches

My hope was that she was merely stunned, but in short order, it became obvious that her wing had been damaged and she was no longer able to fly. Butterflies typically have a very short lifespan anyway, and with no way to fly as well as the possibility of internal injuries, there wasn't much chance of her surviving.

Nature's unfortunate loss was my gain as it gave me the opportunity to examine this winged jewel up close and at my leisure. She's now making her home in my bug collection. In addition to this beauty, I was also gifted with a Rhino Beetle and a Cicada.

The cicada was found by my 11-year-old nephew. He gave it to my father with instructions to give it me. My whole family "gifts" me with bugs! How cool is that?!

Now I just need to make the time to sketch them all. Could someone "gift" me some time to go with all these bugs?!

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