Wyoming's Largest Butterfly

June 06, 2020

     Let me take you away from all the world's problems for just a moment.  Follow me into a magical golden canyon where the stress of our life doesn't ever exist.  The early wildflowers are blooming again; mountains covered with huge yellow flowers.  Some wildflower species so small you've never even seen them for yourself.  The Wind River Canyon is wonderfully green and alive again, like the rebirth of a valuable emerald.

     The air is so fresh with the smell of juniper, cedar trees  and wildflowers it excites the senses like a drug supplied by Mother Nature.  I just wish it would be possible to include the air in this blog.

     The Wild Roses started blooming day-before-yesterday.  They're smaller than the domesticated varietals, but the smell of a wild rose is very intense; I promote their propagation; this results in rose hips, which is a great source of vitamin C. Wild Rose with Spider - Wind River Canyon, WyomingWild Rose with Spider - Wind River Canyon, WyomingWild Rose with Spider in Wind River Canyon, Wyoming.      At each end of our cabin are nesting pairs of House Wrens; they are very territorial and must be kept separated.  Every morning we are serenaded with their wonderful songs.  Females have been seen throwing out another's eggs. The Egg & I-#1The Egg & I-#1House Wren tossing an egg out of another birdhouse! The Egg & I-#2The Egg & I-#2House Wren watching the egg fall that she threw out of another nest!      A native plant that has a very long and ancient history flowers right here in the canyon, the Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).  It's been a medicine for as long as the written word.  It stops the flow of blood and is an antiseptic; used by Hannibal's doctors and native Americans. Yarrow in Wind River CanyonYarrow in Wind River CanyonYarrow wildflowers macro photographed in the Wind River Canyon in the state of Wyoming.       The Bullock's Orioles are nesting close by (three pair) and drink my homemade nectar from the hummingbird feeders.  And speaking of hummingbirds....there's a mating pair of Broad-tailed hummingbirds nesting and feeding here right now. Bullock's Oriole-Wind River Canyon,WyomingBullock's Oriole-Wind River Canyon,WyomingBullock's Oriole photographed in Wind River Canyon, Wyoming.      If you look over this way you will see the largest butterfly in all of Wyoming.  This is the Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) butterfly.  Around the Wind River Canyon they regularly have wingspans of six-plus inches!  Tiger Swallowtail photography rule number 351----Swallowtails are always on their way to someplace else....good luck. Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Dame's Rocket WildflowersWestern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Dame's Rocket WildflowersWestern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Dame's Rocket wildflowers photographed in the magical Wind River Canyon in the state of Wyoming.      The flowers are called Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) and are fabulously great smelling.  They are also called a gilliflower and are native to Eurasia.  They are cultivated around the world and were introduced to America in the 17th century.  The green leaves are a valuable source of vitamin C and can be eaten in salads.  They are considered an invasive species in Colorado, but I don't know why; they are amazing and all the butterflies and wild bees love them.  Wait----there's the hummer. Broad-tailed Hummingbird In-FlightBroad-tailed Hummingbird In-FlightThe first time a Broad-tailed Hummingbird has been photographed in-flight in Wind River Canyon in Wyoming!      Since they are just over four inches in length, this photograph shows him off to his best.  His wing-beats have a very distinctive metallic sound you will never forget, and it's a sound that is found nowhere else in nature.

     When the Wind River Canyon finally comes alive in June it's a sight to behold, and the smells are dazzling to your olfactory senses.  Wish you were here..............

     Thank you for reading my Wind River Canyon Blog.  All content was created by Michael John Balog and all rights are protected by international copyright laws.  

     For many more wildlife images from the Wind River Canyon, including more hummingbirds, Bighorn Sheep and a hundred birds, many wildflowers and wild animals you've never seen, safely visit my website HogbatsPhotography.com 

Be safe....be kind....be smart

MjB Calliope Hummingbird PortraitCalliope Hummingbird PortraitCalliope Hummingbird photographic portrait of a male taken in the Wind River Canyon in the state of Wyoming.





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