Photo Challenge – Swallowtails, Zinnias and Bumblebees, Oh My!

“Away with the colors of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Show us what “Yellow ” means to you.” Photo Challenge at WordPress – December 19th

swallowtail on zinnia

My first thought for this challenge was to choose a photograph of yellow flowers. I have dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of flowers on disc. Many of the photos have been taken in my own gardens, others at local public gardens in the area I live.

I decided instead to combine a favorite flower, zinnias, with a yellow swallowtail butterfly. Perfect. I love swallowtails. Lately, the weather and environmental issues have diminished their ranks, but hopefully their numbers will rebound in our area soon.

I love zinnias, and especially am entranced by the yellow ring of flowers surrounding their center. I always give this ring of small flowers, technically called “disc flowers” my own whimsical name of fairy ring flowers. This is where the butterflies find the nectar that they drink.

Zinnias have “Heads composed of both disc and ray flowers, with disc flowers tightly packed together in the head’s “eye,” while enlarged ray flowers function as petals radiating outward from the eye.” Composite Flowers – Backyard Nature

Here’s a closer look at the yellow “fairy ring” of zinnia disc flowers, this time hosting a Skipper butterfly.

skipper on butterfly

I loved this photograph so much I used it as a reference for a 5 x 7 watercolor, and posted the finished results on this blog: Skipper on a Zinnia

bee

Another visitor to the zinnias is a bumblebee in a fuzzy yellow jacket. Gorgeous insects all!

This post is definitely a tad out of season, but perhaps you are like me, and at the threshold of winter enjoy being reminded that Spring is only three months away.

18 thoughts on “Photo Challenge – Swallowtails, Zinnias and Bumblebees, Oh My!

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    1. Aren’t bumblebees lovely? We are brave here, and once in a while, when they are nuzzling a flower, we will softly, and very quickly I must say, pet that fur coat. They don’t seem to mind. 😀

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