So, when I was a kid, I found a caterpillar in the yard, took it home, put it in an old jar, and hatched it into a butterfly. (Mostly I put it in a jar and it butterflied itself) It was a fantastically bright little guy, with stripes of green and black and yellow polka dot. It lived in my room for two weeks as a chrysalis, and then hatched into a beautiful black butterfly with little colorful spots along its wings. And for 24 years, I've had no idea what the heck kind of butterfly that was.
But then today, Cate Junior and I were looking up butterflies, as we have about a dozen butterfly bushes in our yard now, and they are swarming with little friends. And Ta-da! We found him!
Or, her, I believe, because while I don't have a photo, I do remember there being a lot of colors on the "finished" butterfly, and the girls have more blue than the boys.
So here she is, the Black Swallowtail Butterfly .