Saturday, June 26, 2010
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.