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The Garden Guests

This summer, we were fortunate to have some Black Swallowtail Butterflies in the garden.  I had seen a few butterflies fluttering around but didn't give it much thought until I saw these little creatures on my dill:
I was just puttering in the garden, pulling weeds and checking for tomatoes, when I noticed seven of them munching on my dill like it was a free buffet!  Let's face it, it was!
Within a couple of days,  the dill plant was almost completely devoid of leaves and some of the caterpillars had move on to greener pastures.  I decided to 'rescue' a couple of them in a jar and proceeded to feed them Queen Ann's Lace.  
After about 6 days, the first one formed it's chrysalis.  I was so excited that I had actually been able to keep them alive to do this!
This next picture is a little blurry, but it shows the second one forming it's 'J', which means it's getting ready to shed it's skin and become a chrysalis.  

Two days later, I had another chrysalis.
I think it's absolutely amazing how that tiny thread is able to hold that chrysalis to the branch. It was now time to settle in and wait.  I read that when the chrysalis turns dark, it's almost time for a butterfly to emerge.  I kept checking...
Eleven days later, we came home and found this:
While we were out, the first butterfly emerged.  Sitting on the edge of the jar, it wasn't long before he/she was airborne!  The big question now, was, when would the next one emerge?
Two days later, once again we were out and when we came home, there was a butterfly!  This one was still in the jar on the stick, so I gently lifted the stick out of the jar.
This butterfly promptly hopped on my hand and seemed very happy to be there:
I moved my fingers and he/she proceeded to pose for a few selfies!

After about a half hour, I decided to walk over to the garden to see if there was any interest in the flowers there.  Mr./Ms. Butterfly hopped over to a leaf on the hollyhocks and seemed to be quite happy.  
Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me and even though, I no longer have any dill, it was worth the experience of watching the life cycle of these beautiful creatures.  
I will probably do it again next year, although, I'm not so sure I'll allow them to eat my entire crop of dill!  

P.S.  I bought some dill seed to plant indoors, since Fall is coming soon!
Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed the peek at my garden guests!

Comments

  1. Well, that is very cool! We have a huge zinnia patch and the butterflies are daily visitors. We did not get to see their beautiful transformation however. That is a rare gift!

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    Replies
    1. It truly is a gift, Kim. I was like a little kid, feeding them and watching them transform. Mother Nature is truly amazing!

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  2. This is absolutely amazing thank you for sharing.
    Sue

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    1. My pleasure, Sue. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Wow, you've captured some amazing photos here.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Julie, but the credit really goes to my beautiful subject!

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  4. Oh, what a treat! Your swallowtails are beautiful! We have lots of butterflies this year too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you, Joanna. Butterflies in the garden are a wonderful gift.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. That is amazing! We had a monarch attach itself to one of our patio chairs last year and my boys and I eagerly checked on it each day. We were so thrilled to watch it emerge. Such beautiful butterflies you have!

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    1. This reminded me of when I taught 1st grade and we had monarchs...I was like a kid waiting for them to emerge! Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  6. These are truly beautiful and amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Chas. My subject did not disappoint!

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  7. Amazing colors on the butterfly. I applaud you for providing a home for them.

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    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you. I'm so glad you dropped by! I hope you'll be back again soon.

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  8. The life cycle of the butterfly is an amazing thing. Thank you for helping them survive and thrive. Beautiful post, too!

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    Replies
    1. It certainly is...it was all my pleasure to watch them become butterflies. Thank you for stopping by the Cottage.

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  9. They're well worth sacrificing some dill for. Gorgeous.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Ellen! Thank you for visiting the Cottage.

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  10. They are gorgeous, and how fun to see it all take place! I harvested my dill a while ago. May need to leave it next year and see if I get any caterpillars. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jann, but, be warned. If you leave your dill, be prepared to have nothing left. They are hungry little critters!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. How pretty! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs at Vintage Charm!

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