Monday, August 6, 2012

Butterflies, Caterpillars And Me

Yesterday we finally got some real rain.  This morning the weather was cool and the idea of being anywhere but the garden seemed silly.  When I headed out the door I was greeted by the sight of a white admiral butterfly on the bronze fennel flowers that grow just outside my kitchen door.  He stayed put while I went back inside for the camera.  My day was off to a great start.

I love weeding the garden on a cool day and there are plenty of weeds waiting for me there.  I was working on the area around the Big Bird daylily.  The purslane and wood sorrel were slated for the compost, but first I snapped a picture of this interesting caterpillar.  I tucked the camera back in my pocket and focused on my weeding.  It was only after I finished that I realized that I had stepped on the caterpillar.  Getting caught between my garden clogs and the stone path had turned him into a smear of green slime.  I hoped that this caterpillar would turn out to be some ugly moth or destructive type, but a quick check in my caterpillar book confirmed that it was variegated fritillary.  One of the food plants for this lovely caterpillar is purslane.  We have lots more of it if another caterpillar shows up.  I'll try to watch my step!

There were monarch butterflies flitting around the garden today.  It didn't take Ed too long to get a great shot of a monarch caterpillar on some milkweed.  He's a real eating machine.

I was almost finished making dinner.  All I needed was a little fresh dill.  I had my eye on a plant that had self seeded in the allium bed, but on closer inspection I realized that three black swallowtail caterpillars had beaten me to it.  Unwilling to interrupt their dinner, I found another plant in the bed in front of the house.  There were no caterpillars in evidence here, so they have their dill plant and I got mine.  It's a pleasure to share and dinner was delicious!

1 comment:

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

So amazing as we have seen very few caterpillars with this drought...only 2 brave souls actually. Just gorgeous.