Eastern Tiger Swallowtails Made Us Happy

Canada
August 4, 2017 9:20am CST
From the first day to the last except the rainy days, we were entertained by a large group of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails Butterflies while camping. On the sandy trail to our water access, at the bottom of the trail everyday there were at least 50 (maybe more) Butterflies in one spot next to a big rock. The size of the butterfly circle was about an 20 inch circle on the sand. The moment as we try to go past them the majority of them jump up and fly all around us and up the trail and into the woods away from us. We thought they were mating. They were there every sunny day we had and we disturbed them by walking by them to get into the water. It was fun being among the butterflies as they flew away, some stayed but most left. We were wrong. They were not mating. When we got home we looked it up on line. What we witness was not mating... not even close. According to the internet, the Male butterflies (not the females) like sand that has urine, poop and dead things in it. On day one, we smelled urine and figured the campers before us used the trail to the water for their “pee place”... Its a trail, not a bathroom so we were a bit offended. Yes we pee in the woods but never on or near a trail. The Camp has plenty of washrooms to use within walking distance to all the campsites. And we used them when we needed them but a quick pee in the bush is pretty normal for campers. Once in a while, while in our campsite the butterflies would show up flying around our stuff – fireplace, tables and pop ups, that keep us dry in the rain. I wondered why and later saw them fly away when a snake showed up to figure out what the butterflies were doing...or the snake was hungry... Camping is educational. We had no idea why the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails hung around our trail but we know now.
20 people like this
19 responses
@JudyEv (134912)
• Bunbury, Australia
4 Aug 17
What a great snap. There is so many of them. And thanks for the information.
3 people like this
• Canada
4 Aug 17
We laughed when we read the truth!!!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134912)
• Bunbury, Australia
4 Aug 17
@PainsOnSlate It's not something you'd easily guess!
1 person likes this
@Kuttu_007 (1164)
• India
4 Aug 17
I've always wanted to go for trekking and camping but never made it so far..lol
3 people like this
• Canada
4 Aug 17
I hope you gt a chance, its a lot of fun if you prepare to stay dry and plan your food...
2 people like this
@Kuttu_007 (1164)
• India
4 Aug 17
@PainsOnSlate yeah...that would be great
1 person likes this
@Kandae11 (40370)
4 Aug 17
I won't feel safe camping if I know snakes are around.
3 people like this
• Canada
4 Aug 17
My sister doesn't like them either so I didn't tell her there was one by the river. They are harmless, I used to be terrified by them but I forced myself to grow up and know they are not going to hurt me. It was my daughter who helped me, she loves snakes...the friendly kind.
2 people like this
@Juliaacv (33327)
• Canada
5 Aug 17
They are a pretty looking butterfly and rather fascinating too by the sounds of things.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Sep 17
It was fun to have so many in our camp and even better when we found out why...
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (33327)
• Canada
1 Sep 17
@PainsOnSlate They are so nice to take pictures of aren't they?
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Sep 17
@Juliaacv They are lovely!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176770)
• Switzerland
4 Aug 17
I wonder how is it that such nice creatures like disgusting things. Some people are really gross, to pee on a trail is not very nice.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Sep 17
I agree with you and we figured it was children who did it, they don't like to walk in the high grass before the forest and the high grass often has ticks so perhaps the parents said it was ok...
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (176770)
• Switzerland
1 Sep 17
@PainsOnSlate I have to say that usually the pee of kids do not smell as much as the pee of adults, you would have not noticed.
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Sep 17
@LadyDuck I never thought about the difference...I was thinking if it was adults they would just pee in the river, not on land but you could be right on that!
1 person likes this
@divalounger (2250)
• United States
1 Sep 17
Sometimes what we learn can make us go "eweeeee"--Nonetheless, what a pretty butterfly! Hope you are doing well!
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Sep 17
I'm busy with my art but that is a good thing...can't imagine making the money I do because my friend moved from the side street to the Main Street. Main Street is bringing in a huge amount of money..and making me very happy.
• Canada
1 Sep 17
I am well and busy painting, the store is selling as soon as I bring them to the store. I'm thinking we should up the price.. I loved seeing the butterfly's daily....no matter the reason.
@bluesa (15115)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
16 Aug 17
Oh, Lol, something so pretty being attracted to something yucky, icky. I did just learn something new @PainsOnSlate . Nature can be really odd.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Aug 17
Its something I could have gone without knowing but since curiosity got me, I will forever wonder ...why? But I do understand there is something good in our pee for other creatures.
1 person likes this
@bluesa (15115)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
16 Aug 17
@PainsOnSlate , lol, I guess so, but yes !
1 person likes this
@sueznewz2 (10139)
• Alicante, Spain
6 Aug 17
great photo... isn't it funny that something that pretty and colourfull.... likes to eat urine and poo... lol we learn new things all the time ..lol
1 person likes this
• Canada
7 Aug 17
I laughed when I discovered the reason!
1 person likes this
@sueznewz2 (10139)
• Alicante, Spain
7 Aug 17
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Aug 17
Oh they are so beautiful! Love a butterfly of course! My favorite is the Monarch.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Aug 17
We see this species only while camping, I love the Monarch too.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Aug 17
@PainsOnSlate I have seen quite a few swallowtail butterflies. Last year I didn't see one monarch. Hopefully I will see a few this year. Makes me worry for them when I don't see any.
1 person likes this
@just4him (127237)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
4 Aug 17
They're pretty. Interesting information. Did the urine smell go away with them being there?
1 person likes this
• Canada
5 Aug 17
No, but it rained and we couldn't smell it anymore...but the butterflies stayed the whole two weeks ( except when it was raining) so they must have been able to smell it.
1 person likes this
@just4him (127237)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
5 Aug 17
@PainsOnSlate It's good the rain got rid of the smell.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (39670)
• United States
4 Aug 17
How interesting and disgusting at the same time. I didn't know that about butterflies.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Aug 17
We had no idea either, funny what you can find out on line....
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Aug 17
I had never seen these species of butterflies. Interesting that they gather where there is urine and stuff. I love camping and would go in a heartbeat if I could Paints.
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Aug 17
I hope we can continue. we love it and enjoy even the not so fun stuff...
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Aug 17
@PainsOnSlate It looks a gorgeous place Paints..I sure would love it too.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (73344)
• United States
4 Aug 17
your right.Camping is educational. Thank you so much for this information on Swallowtails
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Sep 17
You are welcome, sorry it took me so long but I am catching up on comments..
1 person likes this
@amadeo (73344)
• United States
1 Sep 17
@PainsOnSlate no problem there.We all have done this time to time.
1 person likes this
@JESSY3236 (7295)
• United States
1 Sep 17
They are so pretty. But eww. I didn't know that about butterflies.
1 person likes this
• Canada
2 Sep 17
I didn't either and I was thinking ewwwwwww too
www...
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Aug 17
Who knew they were so into the yucky stuff? Sometimes it's better not to know! Haha!
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Aug 17
I agree, it was a total surprise when we got back into wifi nation..
1 person likes this
@kepweng (18623)
• Waikoloa, Hawaii
6 Aug 17
nice that you enjoy it i love camping too with friends and family camping in nature i stress reliever
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Aug 17
It certainly is a stress reliever. We love it too.
1 person likes this
@Susan2015 (21720)
• United States
5 Aug 17
Those butterflies are just so beautiful.
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Aug 17
They are beautiful and when there are a lot of them flying around you it feels wonderful.
@Corbin5 (116270)
• United States
4 Aug 17
They Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are a delight for the eyes!!
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Sep 17
They are beautiful!
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (63170)
• Los Angeles, California
4 Aug 17
That is a weird trait. Lovely creatures attracted to fouled earth.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Aug 17
I thought it was weird too but it is the truth. And with the truth there is laughter....
1 person likes this