Butterflies and other Critters

I'll start this post with swallowtails. Who doesn't love those? I was treated with a Zebra swallowtail sighting a few days ago. He was fast moving, so I had a hard time getting a great photo. These are one of the rarer butterflies in my garden. Pawpaws are the only host plant for these beauties. I've been trying to find a dwarf pawpaw for sale, so I can add one to the garden. I don't have room for the common pawpaw which grows around 15 to 20 feet tall.

Zebra Swallowtail 7 19 2018

I was fortunate to capture a great shot of my more common butterfly, the Eastern Black Swallowtail. They use several types of host plants like dill and parsley which I have planted just for them.

I was disappointed to see the milkweed beetles again. I have a yellow milkweed that seeded in a pot. They eat the leaves of the plants and I suspect the caterpillar young, too. I can't find any direct reference to them being carnivorous, but they appeared to be eating small caterpillars on my milkweed a few years ago. I'll leave them alone for now. Maybe, a bird will try one. I was lucky with my Yellow Knockout roses. They had a few Japanese beetles this year. One day I saw a cardinal repeatedly flying down from a nearby Pine tree to the roses. I've not seen any more beetles since!

Giant wasp? I think this is a Giant cicada killer. Two have been flying low around the lantana hedge this year. I love hearing the cicadas. When they are really loud it's all encompassing, just late summer Mother Nature sounds. That's much better than hearing any traffic.

Giant cicada killer wasp