My interest in plant identification started when I was working in downtown Toronto. On warm weather days, I would prowl about nearby weedy alleys during my lunch break. Slowly, I began to be able to recognize and identify the common species. On this 2020 day, I visited one of my favourite weedy spots: a parking lot near Dupont and Bathurst.
The word “weed”, of course, is a name given to plants that people don’t like. Some “weeds” are actually very beautiful as these photographs attest.
During my walk, I saw numerous Cabbage Butterflies,
a Mockingbird doing a splendid Cardinal song imitation,
a Song Sparrow,
and a Red-winged Blackbird chick.
Just as I was about to depart, a Black Swallowtail flew into view:
I have been seeing many Tiger Swallowtails these days;
Black Swallowtails are found in southern Manitoba, northwestern and southern Ontario, southern Quebec and in the Maritimes except for Newfoundland.
They are one of the most popular garden butterflies and among the easiest to attract.
The final brood of this species appears in July and flies throughout August.
The distinctive blue band between the two rows of yellow spots, indicates that this is a female. Males have more yellow tones than blue.
Press close bare-bosom’d night—
press close magnetic nourishing night!
Night of south winds—night of the large few stars!
Still nodding night—mad naked summer night. – Walt Whitman (1819–92)
Cuppus Tim Hortonii – funny
I wish people would not throw their garbage everywhere and anywhere.
Nice post from Weedy Parking Lot!!
I know this spot. Very nice! Thanks, Miles!
I find it interesting that Black Swallowtails enjoy so many non-native plants, for example Queen Anne’s Lace or dill, parsley, carrots, parsnip, etc. I gather its food sources all belong to the parsley family i.e. Apiaceae, which apparently comprises 75 native species as well as our familiar, edible imports.
Apparently Black Swallowtails sometimes lay their eggs on Water Hemlock, another member of the Apiaceae family that is both highly poisonous. One source says the Iroquois called it “the suicide root.” Yikes.