Wednesday, August 22

Garden Pic of the Day: Swallowtails & Soggy Gardens

I'm so excited! I found a Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar in my pot of Flat-Leaf Parsley!
I was just in time to get a couple photos, too, because he was finished eating and resting on a piece of pine straw prior to setting off for his next stage of development!
Here he is!
 
    I  put some sticks in the pot, hoping he'd stay in the pot for his crystalis stage---but no, he disappeared. I read that they seek "a secure place" to hide and transform.
But---apparently he had a brother, because at the time we were looking at this one, my husband turned around and noticed a second caterpillar above the sliding door frame. He had already spun his bit of silk to secure himself there and was on his way into the   crystalis stage. He still looked like a caterpillar, though--just sort of scrunched up and stiff. I picked him off there and put him in a container topped with cheesecloth. This morning, he is entirely transformed into his greenish crystalis.
 I marked 10 days on the calender, so I know when to start checking for a butterfly!
I have never been witness to the birth of a butterfly before.
 
The parsley, of course, will recover and has been nicely fertilized with caterpillar droppings---the circle of life.
 
Below is what my unfortunate vegetable garden currently looks like: the victim of too much rain. :(
It's been dry today and yesterday, so I could mow the front, but the back will need at least 3 or 4 more dry days just to be mow-able.
I did move the 2 squash to my strawberry bed, which is higher and dryer. I'm not sure they liked being moved---but I can just plant more seed if they keel over.
The tomatoes still persist, but the over-wetness probably spells their doom.

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