Monday, August 10, 2009

Caterpillars and Butterflies

Grandson Grady and I were happy to find these caterpillars on the fennel in my herb garden Sunday. (That's Grady's finger in the picture - to give you a little perspective.)
The caterpillars were all over the fennel last summer, too, but I didn't realize exactly what they were - I just assumed that they were harmful - after all, they were eating my plant. So I picked them all off, dropped them in a bucket, and drowned them. A few days later, the Stokes Butterfly Book I had ordered arrived - and I soon discovered that those caterpillars would have become beautiful Swallowtail butterflies like those pictured below if I'd left them alone.
The butterflies seemed a little late arriving this year, but just in the last week I've seen several beauties. And they're fairly cooperative when I want to take pictures of them.
So, if you want to cultivate butterflies, I highly recommend some fennel in the herb garden and a butterfly bush on the deck!

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