Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where do the Caterpillars Go?

My recent blog posts have described the arrival and departure 
of the Eastern black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars
that appeared on my parsley plant right after the baby wrens fledged.
I watched the worms grow fat and green,
watched one get picked off by a hungry robin,
and then yesterday discovered two of them in a parsley-induced torpor,
curled under daisy leaves.

Today, the robin flew in and sat on the back of a lawn chair
next to the empty parsley pot.
That bird looked and looked and then departed without any breakfast.
I guess the caterpillars really are gone, but all day I've wondered where they went.

I found a website called "Life Cycle of the Black Swallowtail" by Bob Moul.
Moul describes the life cycle of the swallowtail butterfly
and has some good photos of its stages.

So where did the caterpillars go? 
According to Moul, they didn't go far.
Probably within forty feet of my parsley plant they now slumber,
 attached to woody stems or under leaves.
I did go look around. I did not find anything.
I guess they are safe from me--and the robins who would eat them.

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