Monday, July 28, 2014

Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies

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.

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