Sunday, August 05, 2007
Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucas)
Antietam National Battlefield is a wonderful place for butterfly watching. With the abundant stands of thistles and other wildflowers July and August have the park absolutely aflutter with these gentle bugs.
Two great spots for observing and photographing butterflies are where the East Woods meets the Cornfield (where Tyndale's Brigade plastered the 4th GA) and the heights above Burnside Bridge where the stone wall lets you perch within the thistle patch.
Sit still for about thirty seconds and the Butterflies seem to become pretty oblivious to you. The only upside of this very dry summer is that there are no mosquitos. Having to use bug spray would preclude getting these close-ups.
The Tiger Swallowtail butterfly is so confident of its disguise of a toxic butterfly that you can actually get it to fearlessly perch on your finger, if it deigns to, that is.
This beautiful battlefield truly has something for everyone.
Come see for yourself, just north of Sharpsburg.