Butterflies are often beautiful.  Flowers are often beautiful.  When both are together, as often happens, the level of beauty increases exponentially through some form of natural world legerdemain.  It is impossible to figure out exactly how it happens because it seems like natural beauty would have additive or at most multiplicative powers when combined with more natural beauty, but it is also unnecessary to figure it out.  All we need to do is enjoy pretty flowers and butterflies and leave the math to others.

That is what we did on a recent visit to the New York Botanic Gardens in the Bronx, a place where the exponential forces of natural world beauty often threaten to overwhelm the senses.  Flowers, trees, and landscape all combine to force the forgetting that New York City is all around.  Especially when an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucous is feeding on some absolutely gorgeous flowers.  The beauty level was so high that I could barely even take pictures and I completely forgot to get the name of the flowers.  But you know a butterfly-flower combination is something impressive when two kids with a combined age of less then five are both staring intently and quietly.  See for yourself below – and the first and third images have larger versions available if you click them.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.