It's surprising because earlier in the year, in late winter and early spring, my yard was absolutely teeming with the colorful fliers. Swallowtails of all kinds, but especially Tigers, were daily visitors and not just solitary ones. It was not at all unusual to see several Tiger Swallowtails or Pipevine Swallowtails or Gulf Fritillaries or even Monarchs during a day's time. No more.
This is a bit unusual because most years around this time is when the butterfly population really begins to explode. It is consistently warm - no, make that hot! - every day now and these critters normally thrive in warm and hot weather. Generally speaking, from now through the end of autumn, we have a constantly changing kaleidoscope of butterfly visitors. So far, that just hasn't been the case this year.
This spring has been different for us because it has been exceptionally cool. I just heard that it has been the 30th coolest spring on record for the area. Moreover, up until recently, we had been getting regular rains. It has, in short, been a very pleasant spring for humans and plants, but maybe that wasn't so good for the butterflies. Perhaps it inhibited their ability to successfully reproduce and that's why we are not seeing as many as usual just now. That's my theory anyway.
I expect this dearth of butterflies will not last much longer. There are plenty of flowers and plenty of host plants in the garden to entice them and the weather now is mostly hot and dry. Time will remedy my butterfly-lessness.
Black Swallowtail on lantana earlier this spring.