Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars






After seeing a "garden for the senses" at the Omaha Zoo last fall I decided to plant one this spring, I have really enjoyed it. I planted all kinds of herbs, scented geraniums, a jasmine plant, cayenne pepper and some ornamental grass. I planted parsley and fennel with the hope of getting some butterfly eggs and it worked!!!! Our grandsons spent this past weekend with us, we were outside looking around, I was pulling leaves from the plants in my garden for the senses for them to smell, I was getting the "that stinks" remarks when my oldest grandson discovered the caterpillars of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly, I was so excited, of course we got the camera right away. My grandson took these pictures. I think they turned out really well.
I have been debating about bringing one of the caterpillars inside to watch it turn into a chrysalis, I found instructions online, but have decided I would rather leave it outside. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the butterfly itself earlier in the summer but I could never get a good shot.


10 comments:

Ki said...

I have no idea what the life cycle of a swallowtail butterfly is but it seems so late to have caterpillars now when frost could be around the corner. I wonder if they fly south like Monarchs.

Very nice photos. Your grandson is a wonderful photographer.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Ki, the caterpillars spin a chrysalis and spend the winter attached to the plant (dead plant of course). Then next spring they emerge as a butterfly.

verobirdie said...

Those caterpillars are beautiful, and could be a great idea for embroidery. So you see, you're already into CQ :-)
Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog.

kris said...

How fun that your grandsons discovered the caterpillars - I bet they were excited. I thought about bringing in one of mine this year too - but decided I'd rather have them do their thing in the wild. I had about 12 of them, so hopefully I'll see lots of butterflies next summer!

Moe said...

Awesome caterpillar photots! Those are very well done!

Me said...

beautiful - we had three on the fennel last year - didn't see any this year... :(

DeeMom said...

SUPER pictures IOWA

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I brought three caterpillars into the house because I didn't think they would survive outside with all the praying mantids in my garden. One of the butterflies emerged this week. I'm so glad I was able to witness this transformation up close. The butterfly was so beautiful, (I have pictures of it on my blog). I hope to do it again next year.

Your grandsons pictures are wonderful!

Shady Gardener said...

I'm so "jealous" I can't stand it! I planted parsley again this year... in hopes that we'd be able to see a caterpillar in our yard. (I have been gone this month, however... so maybe I'll still find one when I get home... 9/29).

Genie said...

How cool! I just posted a pic of one of these last night, but didn't know what it was! A couple of people suggested the Black Swallowtail, and you're confirming it for me -- I saw your post on Garden Voices.

Someone suggested that I bring one in and let it make the chrysalis, but I haven't decided on that yet. Where did you find the instructions for that?