Last fall when I was putting in my veggie garden I decided to add in dill and fennel hoping to attract the elusive Swallowtail. I see them randomly in my yard. As in randomly rare. And I love them.
A few weeks ago I noticed that my Fennel plants were 6 feet tall and an absolute mess with no eggs/babies in sight. *sigh*
I finally went out yesterday and started cutting them down and tossing pieces into my compost bin when I noticed an elusive caterpillar. Thank goodness I don’t have neighbors too close because they might have thought I’d lost my mind. I shrieked in delight!
I pulled out all the pieces and then went to the ‘still a mess of plants’ to discover a plethora of swallowtail caterpillars.
MY DAY WAS MADE!
I ran in and googled How to Raise Swallowtails and voila-I was an instant professional swallowtail mom.
I didn’t bring them all inside at first, but later on when I was cleaning up from dinner I could see a male cardinal hopping around my fennel-surely he was feasting on my new babies. I went out and shooed him away and then rescued any I could find. *phew* Damn bird should stick to the feeders I have for he and his family.
I’ve ordered a much larger tent for them, but for now they’re using a smaller monarch tent and some are residing on my craft table. I hope they don’t run off before Amazon gets here with their new home.
There’s quite a variety of swallowtail in SW Florida, but I think these are the Black or Eastern Black flavor. I’ll know in a few weeks if my guess is correct or not. Stay tuned.
|Not Suz’s photography|
Have you found anything that made you shriek out loud lately?