Saturday, June 26, 2010

New Butterfly

One might expect to find a gardener's best work in front of his house. Here a self planted sizeable patch of dill holds the corner of the planting bed in front of the house. This spring my suggestion that we clean up that area was rejected since the caterpillars of some butterfly ate dill. Recently we found several green, yellow, black and white caterpillars feasting on the untidy dill. This morning I found this newly hatched Eastern Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes, on the stone ramp leading from the basement.

The butterfly was fortunate that I did not step on it. My habit is to walk with eyes fixed on the ground in front of me so that I do not step on the unexpected. Yesterday, my first step outside the basement door found a sizeable snake betwen my feet. It is amazing how long a person can hold themselves airborne. With my girlish scream still echoing from the hills, I quick stepped out of there. Equally frantic, the snake found an opening in the stone wall with its tail and backed out of sight.

Becky also had time to get a close look at the butterfly. Located near her dill patch makes it likely that she made food available for this former caterpillar. We were both in the area and saw the butterfly's first flight. It easily cleared the stone wall, flew across the lawn, turned to miss the trees and disappeared out of sight. I expect to always find a large patch of dill growing in front of the house.


Anonymous said...

That's a beautiful shot of the details on the swallowtail butterfly wings.

Northern Shade said...

I was just making a comment, when I accidentally hit enter twice, and it either disappeared or got saved part way through as an anonymous comment.

Your photo of the butterfly is beautiful, and shows the wonderful details on the butterfly wings. It's a good thing you provide a habitat and food for the caterpillars. You have a wildlife friendly garden.

wiseacre said...

I knew I heard something squeal in the distance.