It’s Black Swallowtail Caterpillar Season Again!

I mentioned on Monday that we have a few new additions to the homestead – Black Swallowtail caterpillars! It’s the first batch of caterpillars this season, and I was so happy to see them. I had been concerned that I might not get any this year because I moved my parsley from pots around my backyard patio to the ground along my front walkway. I hadn’t seen any butterflies, so I thought maybe the parsley wasn’t out in the open enough, it being right outside my front door. But nature being what it is, at least one butterfly found my parsley and laid her eggs. And I get to enjoy this – and share it with you. Black Swallowtail Caterpillars

Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 9/8/14

I can happily report that it finally rained this past weekend! First rain in over three weeks. We got 1.5 inches, and even that has made a difference in the garden. You’ll see in today’s pictures how heat and drought stressed my plants have been. At least now, the soil is not so dry. We’re supposed to get more rain today, and I hope the weatherman is right. Meanwhile, my garden is holding on in the continuing heat of summer temperatures, and I’m still unable to plant my fall garden. I’ve been putting off planting indoors under grow lights, hoping for cooler weather; but I don’t think I can put it off any longer if I want a fall crop before frost. At least, I still have plants striving to live and give me what they can. This week’s garden pictures!

Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 8/18/14

It’s been brutal in the garden this week, and there’s no relief in sight. The forecast for the next ten days calls for highs in the mid 90s to low 100s. It’s almost Labor Day, and I’m working hard not to get heat exhaustion while trying to get gardening chores done. And there are a lot of chores to be done. It’s transition time here – the summer garden remains and the fall crops need to be prepared for – and it’s blazing hot!! In fact, it’s so hot still that I’m going to have to start some of my fall crops indoors under grow lights for the first time, so they’ll germinate. How’s that for a switch? Well, in spite of the heat, I still have some pictures to share. This week’s garden photos!

Swallowtail Surprise

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! Swallowtail surprise!

Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 8/4/14

You’re going to notice a little bit of a change in my postings this week because I’m taking a much needed break in all things labor related. Yesterday was my birthday (no, I won’t tell you how old I am!), and I’m spending the entire week relaxing and having fun. NO WORK FOR ME THIS WEEK! But I haven’t forgotten you guys. The changes to my site for the week are very minor. Today’s update will have fewer pictures than normal; the same goes for my Garden Bounty post for tomorrow. For the rest of the week, I’m going to share interesting articles I’ve found elsewhere on the internet, ending the week with an insight into the Sanctuary Gardener herself – moi. Next week, things will be back to normal. This week’s garden photos!

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars ~ Round 4!

Yes, you read that right – round FOUR! It seems, as soon as my dill and parsley grow back, the butterflies lay more eggs. These critters have eaten more of my dill and parsley than I have. But I don’t mind. The plants grow back, and I like that my yard is a haven for making new butterflies. I must say, this is the largest batch yet. They ate my pot of dill, then attacked all three pots of parsley. I now have no more food for them. 😦  One of the good things about the number of them this time is that I was able to get some more great pictures as well as a couple videos. Caterpillar pictures and video!

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars Round 3

Yes, you read that correctly. It’s ROUND THREE of my garden feeding black swallowtail caterpillars. The first round ate my dill in July. I found round two on my curly parsley about two weeks ago. Yesterday, I found round three on my flat parsley. More!

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. More!