Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving Day, and what better day to stop and be thankful for not only family and friends, but for the beauty around us.

That would include insects, including the stunning Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus).

Last summer we enjoyed watching a very gravid female, with a three-to-four-inch wingspan, nectaring on a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) in our Vacaville pollinator garden.

She also nectared on Verbena before departing--probably to lay her eggs on a nearby host plant, liquidambar (sweet gum) or a sycamore.

For just a few minutes, the Western tiger swallowtail graced our pollinator garden with her breathtaking beauty. We are thankful for her presence, and the presence of all the pollinators, past, present and future, in our little pollinator garden.

"Without the actions of pollinators, agricultural economies, our food supply, and surrounding landscapes would collapse," points out the Pollinator Partnership. "Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, beetles, and other small mammals that pollinate plants are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food."

Happy Thanksgiving!