|Two of many spicebush swallowtail butterflies that I saw during a socially distanced walk in a park this week. Click to enlarge.
|I was at this lovely spot in the New Jersey pine barrens.
|When I noticed little dark things fluttering on the shore of the lake.
|They turned out to be spicebush swallowtail butterflies congregating on the mud to suck up minerals. The behavior is called mud-puddling or just puddling. Other insects puddle, but it is conspicuous and cool when big butterflies like this do it.
|They flew up when I got too close.
|But settled back down again.
|I love stumbling upon things like this!
|And there were dozens more butterflies around. Sometimes you are just lucky and end up in a park on a spicebush swallowtail puddling day.