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Facilitating the Life Cycle of the Butterfly

Black swallowtail egg on bronze fennel
Black Swallowtail egg on bronze fennel
Black swallowtail caterpillar on bronze fennel
Black Swallowtail caterpillar on bronze fennel

 There’s been a Black Swallowtail in my garden for several days now. I’ve been checking the fennel and parsley daily, but no eggs or caterpillars have been found. This afternoon I went out in hopes of taking some pictures of butterflies. I knew I’d see the Monarch because she has been there for at least a week (I’m still waiting to find eggs and caterpillars on the Milkweed). I was hoping to catch a shot of the Black Swallowtail- what I got was even more exciting! After looking around the yard for the swallowtail and not finding it, I went to the fennel and parsley just to see, if by chance, I’d find eggs. Alas! What seemed to be hundreds were all over the fennel. I’m still learning how to take macro shots so it took a while to get a couple of clear photos for the blog. Here they are! Then I looked at the fennel without the camera and there right before me was a caterpillar! It had to have been there for days because it is kind of big. As I studied more closely the fennel, there was an even larger caterpillar. I’m so excited I can’t stand it. Now I need to pull out my butterfly box, make sure it’s clean- no spiders or critters that would hurt the caterpillars, and start watching the transformation! I’ll keep you posted with the progress- such fun. Join me and design your butterfly garden today- you will be so glad you did.