With spring wildflowers, pipevine swallowtail butterflies emerge in Sonoma County 

Jeanne Wirka, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The explosion of wildflowers throughout March and April ushers in a favorite Sonoma County phenomenon — the emergence of the pipevine swallowtail butterflies (Battus philanor).
While they represent just one of many pollinators now visiting our nectar-rich fields, these black and iridescent blue lovelies stand out. They are large and slow enough that we humans can easily follow their progress as they visit flower after flower in search of nectar. The tiny scales on their dark wings catch the light, reflecting blue metallic hues above and displaying bright orange spots underneath.
And, if we know when and where to look, we can track their entire life cycle during the coming months.
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