Harbinger of Spring
Falcate Orangetip (Anthocharis midea) is considered a harbinger of spring and was a thrill to find. This is the first time I've seen this species in our garden.
Plants in the mustard family are the host for this butterfly while the preferred nectar plants are mustard blooms and violets. I happen to plant mustard greens in the raised beds this winter which are blooming now.
Males will relentlessly patrol for females along moist woodlands, stopping briefly for food. Females will only lay one egg per host plant which is yellow-green and turns red when about to hatch. The caterpillar prefers to eat the flowers and buds (not the leaves).
Unfortunately, this female was either perched or flying too quickly for me to get a photo with the wings open. I didn't spot a male but hopefully there is one around.