Eastern Tiger Swallowtails Made Us Happy
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.
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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.