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So I'm driving up Georgia Shore Road today in the St. Albans Bay - 5
priority block. I spy that telltale triangle of a butterfly sitting on the
paved road in front of me. I slam on the brakes, swerve, and stop to
voucher what I suspect will become a road-killed Black Swallowtail (Papilio
polyxenes). But before I can get to her she's swept up like a dry leaf in
the vortex of a truck coming toward me in the other lane. She falls back to
the road, still alive. I pick her up, take her picture, stuff her into an
envelope in my specimen box, which I stash in the cooler. And off I go to
meet Sharon Meyer of WCAX-TV for one of our weekly nature features.

With the camera rolling, I tell Sharon the tale of the Black Swallowtail in
critical condition and show her the subject (still alive). It occurs to me
that we're standing near last year's Queen Anne's Lace, with some new
growth just sprouting up. So, without rehearsal, I place the swallowtail on
the plant, and she wastes no time laying an egg -- all before the macro
lens of the TV camera. Having accomplished her mission, the swallowtail
takes off in flight -- perhaps to lay some more eggs.

I think the segment will air on WCAX-Channel 3's evening newscast on
Wednesday (May 21) at 6:40 (plus or minus 5 minutes). We even got footage
of the egg.

Other species flying in Georgia and St. Albans Bay today:

Mustard White (Pieris napi)
Cabbage White (P. rapae)
Clouded Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
Spring Azure (Celastrina sp.)
Meadow Fritillary (Boloria bellona)
Anglewing species (Polygonia sp.)
American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
Red Admirable (V. atalanta)
Juvenal's Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis)

-Bryan Pfeiffer

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Plainfield, VT 05667

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Phone: (802) 454-4640

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