When I got home from vacation this past weekend, I was examining my herb transplants along my front walkway. Most of them are doing well. My oregano has died back, but there are new shoots coming up, so I think it will be okay. I did notice that my earlier transplants of fernleaf dill were dried and in full seed. I was planning to pull them…until I realized that Madam Butterfly left me a wonderful surprise!
A couple weeks ago, I had my first batch of Black Swallowtail caterpillars this season. (See Black Swallowtail Butterflies are Back!) They chomped on my curly parsley flowers, which I have in pots around my backyard patio. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see them mature into full-sized caterpillars before leaving for vacation. When I got home, the parsley was empty. I was sad. But I know that somewhere, there are several chrysalises in which butterflies are being made.
I had no idea that I had more caterpillars in the front yard in my dried dill until I went to pull them. I saw two caterpillars, then noticed there were a total of TEN! I couldn’t pull the dill, nor did I want to harvest the seed. How could I take food away from these little guys? (I did sprinkle a few seeds nearby to start new plants though.)
Here are two of the bigger ones.
These little guys were moving up and down the stalks, munching away.
There are three caterpillars in this picture. Can you find them?
This guy kept moving every time I tried to take its picture.
Can you find four caterpillars in this picture?
I love knowing my garden is a haven for such beautiful creatures. I kind of feel like a Mama, raising another batch of butterflies.
Are you “raising” Black Swallowtail, Monarchs, or other butterflies in your garden?