Black Swallowtails Visit Again

Last summer, I found over a dozen Black Swallowtail caterpillars on my parsley and dill plants – twice. (I think there were two hatchings of eggs.) I’ve been wondering if the Swallowtail would return. Although I haven’t seen the actual butterflies yet, I found almost a dozen caterpillars on my dill this weekend.

Unlike when I find a tomato hornworm or other nasty garden pests, I got excited when I saw these. They covered my dill on Friday.

Black Swallowtail caterpillars on dill

Black Swallowtail caterpillars on dill

They are actually very pretty caterpillars. Here’s a closeup picture from last summer.

Black swallowtail caterpillar on parsley

Black swallowtail caterpillar on parsley

Remember I talked about the Mockingbird nest in my crepe myrtle tree? I’ve yet to see the babies, but I hear them chirping early in the morning. Well, while I was sitting in my living room on Sunday, looking out my patio door, I saw Mama Mockingbird dive bomb my dill plant. She got into the pot, then hopped out with her beak moving. She was grabbing my butterfly caterpillars to feed her babies! When I went outside afterwards, I had only a few caterpillars left on my dill.

Black Swallowtail caterpillars on dill

Black Swallowtail caterpillars on dill

Yes, the cycle of life is alive and well in my garden. I’m hoping a few of these caterpillars survive long enough to become butterflies. They’re so beautiful!

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Photo credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Photo credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Do you have any butterflies in your garden?

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