Our Second Biannual Caption Contest

OK, so it’s actually been almost 27 months since our first caption contestprevious. The photograph this time is not part of our regular collection, nor will it ever be, most likely. Nancy took this picture on our trip with Natural Habitat Adventures to Uganda and Rwanda in 2015 to photograph mountain gorillasdetails. As you can see, we found some. We are just starting to process those pictures now.

Bruce and silverback
Your caption could be here

This shot was taken at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. We were told that we weren’t supposed to get within seven meters (23 feet) of a gorilla on this hike. I’m as far off the trail (which goes off to your left) as I can get, unlike the other three gentlemen, and I’m wishing I had a wider lens. The other three managed to get out of the silverback’s way just after this photo was taken, and we all lived happily ever after.

The winner of this contest will get ten dollars off any print or service of Bee Happy Graphics. Here’s how the contest will work:

  • For at least the next three weeks, you can enter your caption idea into the comments of this article below.
  • I will announce the close of the competition and the beginning of the voting process in another comment to this blog post. I may have a plug-in for that by then and will explain the voting process in that same comment.
  • At least two weeks after that last announcement a winner will be announced. If any entry has three or more votes, the one with the most votes will be the winner. If no entry has that many votes, then I will take an informal survey among my closest family and friends, and pick the winner. The decision of the judges (as defined above) is final. This prize may be combined with other promotions.

Good luck, and let the contest begin!

A Different Kind Of Art Show In Eau Gallie?

We have been accepted into the Artworks of Eau Gallie Fine Arts Festival the weekend before Thanksgiving along Highland Avenue north of West Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne.  The festival will be open from 10 am to 5 pm both Saturday, November 23, and Sunday.  It is a small festival; they are expecting around ten thousand visitors to eighty artists.


The Artworks of Eau Gallie Fine Arts Festival was conceived in 1996 with the idea of artists demonstrating “how they do what they do”. Although giving a demonstration is not an artist requirement, they encourage the artists to do so and award prizes for good demonstrations. In our booth at every festival, we talk constantly to visitors about Nancy’s work, as well as photography in general and wildlife, and other related topics – her forty years as a teacher are clearly evident. And yet we were not prepared for a demonstration and did not volunteer. The truth is I have no idea how to demonstrate what we do. If you have any ideas about this, like what you would like to see demonstrated, I’d like to hear them.

Besides the artists and the demonstrations, there will be live entertainment. More information will be on their website (artworksofeaugallie.org).

We Will Be Back In Delray In April

For the second timeprior, we have been accepted into the Delray Affair. It will next be held on April 3rd through 5th, 2020. On Friday and Saturday, it will run from 10 am to 6 pm and will be from 10 to 5 on Sunday. It will again be along Atlantic Avenue downtown from around Swinton Avenue east to the Intercoastal Waterway. Besides having up to 600 artists, there will also be live music and other items on display. For more information (as it becomes available) go to their website, delrayaffair.com.


If you’d like to receive an email reminder of this event a couple of weeks before it starts, you can use our Private Blog Comment Form to give us the necessary information.

Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Thanksgiving Art Festival

We have been invited to this festival for the first time. It will be put on by the same local artistartist who put on the Boca Grande Invitational Art Festivalannounced in June (which reminded us why intelligent artists in Florida stop participating in art festivals after the first weekend in May – it is hot, and people tend to stay inside with the air conditioner (and their wallets)).

This festival will be held on Saturday, November 30 & Sunday, December 1 – Thanksgiving weekend. (For what it’s worth, Nancy & my anniversary falls on Thanksgiving this year). There will only be sixty artists on the grounds of Englewood Bank & Trust, 1111 S. McCall Road in Englewood. Hopefully, you can find more information on their Facebook page @EnglewoodArtFestival as it becomes available.

Space Coast Art Festival In New Location Again

We have been accepted into this art festival for the fourth timeprevious. This time the festival, which will be Saturday, October 19, from 9 am to 5 pm, and from 10 to 4 on Sunday, will be held at Space Coast Daily Park at 6091 Stadium Parkway in Viera, Florida (32940). This is a new 30-acre outdoor event and entertainment venue for Brevard County.


In addition to the 90 artists, they will have live art & music performances, a food court, kids entertainment, and a student art show. You can find more information on their website, Space Coast Art Festival, as it becomes available. They are expecting only 14 thousand visitors this year, but we are still looking forward to a good festival.

For what it’s worth, the people putting on this show have been scrambling since the City of Cocoa Beach wrongly started messing with them five years ago. Last year we had the opportunity to work with their new competition, the Cocoa Beach Art Show. Dealing with the lady in charge was not exactly a pleasure; she claimed to have well over ten years of experience in running a five-year-old festival and still didn’t understand her own festival rules as they were written (she made us take down Nancy’s hand-made notecardssample because notecards were mentioned as an example in a rule prohibiting mass-produced merchandise).

Now that Space Coast has a stable new venue and time, I fully expect them to return to to the highest level, as established by over fifty years of greatness (as indicated above, we haven’t been there all of those fifty years).

December Will Be Our 2nd Appearance At The Lutz Arts & Crafts Festival

Yes, it’s already time to start thinking of the next art festival season. Last year’s Lutz Arts & Crafts Festivalannounced was our 100th festivalblog and Nancy received an awardblog. So what can we expect this year? If you are north of Tampa in early December, come see for yourself!

Put on by the GFWC Lutz-Land O’Lakes Woman’s Club, this 40th annual event will be held again at Keystone Preparatory High School (18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa) on Saturday, December 7, from 10 am to 5 pm and from 10 to 4 on Sunday.  They are expecting about 250 artists.  Some will be indoor, but we will be outside, as always. Admission is free but there is a five-dollar parking fee.  For more information, see gfwclutzlandolakeswomansclub.org/annual-lutz-arts-crafts-festival/.

Giant Swallowtails (Papilio cresphontes)

Last updated on September 9th, 2019 at 06:27 am

For the last couple of summers, Nancy has been working hard to ‘branch out’ with a larger selection of (native) butterfly host and nectar plants around the yard to bring a greater variety of butterflies to the neighborhood. It is starting to pay off. Besides our Monarchs, we’ve seen more Zebra Heliconians (our state butterfly, formerly known as the zebra longwing), we’ve seen Polydamas and Giant Swallowtails, we’ve seen one of the Duskywings (the Zarucco, I think), a few Sulphurs, and even some Atalas. We’ve recently seen chrysalises of the Atalas and then the Giant Swallowtails. Earlier this month, I expanded our explanation of the Atala Butterfly life cycle on that page of our website (www.BeeHappyGraphics.com/gallery/atala.html). Now I’m going to tell you a few things about the life cycle of a Giant Swallowtail Butterfly.

The Egg

For this discussion, we will start with a single, 1 to 1.5 millimeter (just under 1/16“) cream to brown colored egg with orange secretions, on the upper surface of a leaf. It is laid on members of the citrus family, the giant swallowtail’s host plants, represented in our case by wild lime. The egg lasts four to ten days before hatching, depending on the temperature and host plant.

The Caterpillar

Small Larva of Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Figure 1: early phase (instar) of giant swallowtail caterpillar. Its head is to the right.

The larva (a.k.a. caterpillar) then goes through five instars (periods between molts) which, unlike the monarch butterfly instars, all look different. The first instar has hairs. The next instars have been compared to bird poop. The younger instars are more realistic-looking as bird droppings with more contrast than the later instars (shown in Figure 2). They rest on top of the leaf and are nocturnal (which makes sense – being seen moving around during the day could blow their disguise). The more mature instars rest on the stems and have been theorized to resemble small snake heads. These caterpillars also have a red, antenna-like osmeterium, which is not usually visible (and which we have not yet seen).

Larger Caterpillar and Chrysalis of Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Figure 2: larger giant swallowtail larva on the left side of the branch (head up) and chrysalis on right side.

The Chrysalis

After three or four weeks, when it reaches a length of about two inches (5 cm), the larva will pupate. It could form the chrysalis (not to be confused with a ‘cacoon’, which is just an outer protective cover spun by a moth larvae for their chrysalis) right on the stem of the host plant (unlike the monarchlife cycle, who because its host plant is an easily devourable species of milkweed, must travel up to twenty feet to find a safe place to pupate, or the Atala, for which all sibling larvae pupate together so they don’t have to worry about their late-developing siblings coming by and eating them onto the ground), or it could travel a short distance to a vertical surface. As seen in the above picture, the chrysalis hangs tail-down at an angle of about 45° to the structure with its top suspended from silken threads. The pupa (a more general name for chrysalis that can be also applied to all metamorphizing insects, not just butterflies and moths) will last from ten to more than twelve days before emerging into an adult. Unlike the monarch, we have not noticed the giant swallowtail chrysalis changing color over time.

The Adult

Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Figure 3: adult giant swallowtail butterfly. (Notice chrysalis below it.)

As shown in Figure 3, the adult is black with yellow trim on the top, and could possibly be confused with other black-and-yellow swallowtails like the Black Swallowtaildescribed (and very-rarely-seen species like the Schaus’described and Bahaman Swallowtailsdescribed). The underside of this butterfly (not shown (yet)) is predominantly a light yellow. The adult lives six to fourteen days. This butterfly lives in the near-coastal areas from Florida through the Carolinas (compared to the black swallowtail, which extends north just beyond Massachusetts).

Epilogue

Nancy took all of the pictures shown in this article. As you noticed, we haven’t yet photographically documented the entire life cycle of this butterfly, and I don’t know when Nancy will be satisfied enough with her pictures to add an image of the giant swallowtail to our commercial collection. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Besides our personal experience, we have relied on a number of resources, including University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department and Butterflies of the East Coast: an observer’s guide by Rick Cech and Guy Tudor, as well as the links highlighted throughout the article.