If you've been following the Virginia Shire blog,
you know that we have been "farming" Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies
here for the last week or so.
A photo of an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly
that I took at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens last summer:
Yesterday the plump green caterpillars vacated the parsley stems
and disappeared as quickly as they arrived.
We never see them come, and we never see them go.
But they went--at least some of them did.
Late this morning I cleaned up this mess the caterpillars left behind:
It was really hot, so I was working fast so I could get back indoors,
but I moved on to the planter of gerbera daisies on the deck railing above the parsley pot.
I raised one of the large daisy leaves to snip the stem of a spent blossom
and that's when I saw them:
three curled swallowtail caterpillars resting in the shade of the big leaves.
A big meal, a warm summer day, a quiet place to nap in the shade.
I'm pretty sure we can all relate.