Ingesting the good herbs {I rue the day!}

I’m sure you remember a few weeks ago when I found my first swallowtail caterpillars on my overgrown fennel. I mean, what else could you have been thinking about all this time?
Well, I raised and released about 8-10 of those beauties. They’re so different from monarchs; very unpredictable. My Monarchs, in chrysalis form, cook for only 9-10 days.


Eastern black swallowtail chrysalis-they look like mini alligators, because Florida. They create their own ‘girdle/sling’ that holds them at a desired angle. Nature is cra-cra!

Some of the swallowtails took 10-20 days to become butterflies, but I still have several in chrysalis form.
They could be like that for over a year.
A YEAR. 
I’d never heard of such a thing. They come out when they want….like they have NO schedule whatsoever.
Just willy nilly with this beginning of life thing.
As if I have nothing else to do but wait around for them. I have THINGS to do.
I liken it to those 35-year-olds living with Mom and playing Xbox for a living.
Grow up and get out there.

Anyhoo, I wasn’t finding many more swallowtail cats on my fennel, so I ran to my local nursery (not Lowes or HD because they use pesticides on ALL plants, even herbs and for that I hate them) to get some parsley, dill, and rue. Swallowtails love those herbs. They might like the Mary Jane herb too, but I’m not going there.
I’m still flying my Blue Line flag in the front yard y’all, as well as obeying the law.
Well, most laws. Is it against the law to floss your teeth while driving? Asking for a friend.
Wait, what was I saying?
Oh-I found a few nice parsley plants and rue. Honestly, who uses rue? I’ve never had anything with rue in it in my life, but I bought the cute little plant to attract some beauties. And also, now I can pick up the plant and spout out: I RUE THE DAY I MET YOU!
I really wish I’d been offered drama class in high school.

The plants sat on my garage counter for a few days before I took them outside. I don’t even bother putting these types of things in the ground now as the caterpillars will eat them so quickly and then I put the devoured potted plants (mostly milkweed) that are down to the nubs on the screened lanai so they can recover and swap them out again. It’s a whole song and dance with me, which is how I get most of my cardio.
So when I went to deposit these newest plants outside, I realized they already had eggs and some larvae on them. I got a two-fer. They came with swallowtail caterpillars and I didn’t have to wait for the Mama Swallowtail to come to lay eggs; I had a head start.
WINNING.

This baby is probably 5-6 days old here. 

And then it happened. I had a realization. I get them every once in a while.
My jaw dropped when I put it all together.

I bought a parsley plant that had butterfly babies on it.
How many times in our lives have we eaten dill, parsley and (one of you) rue and we (you, me, JoeBob and BettyLou) have unknowingly eaten an egg or caterpillar? How many times do you think?

I’m thinking at least 43 times.

I know for sure I’ve felt butterflies in my belly THAT many times and now it alllll makes sense. 
How about you? Butterflies in your belly? Beuller? Beuller?  It’s all the rue, boo. 


XOXO

9 thoughts on “Ingesting the good herbs {I rue the day!}

  1. I have some fennel that came up randomly in my flowerbed that comes back every year. The kids call the caterpillars 'wonky' because of the orange horns that pop out if you bother them! I've never thought about parsley and the like having caterpillar eggs on them… yikes!

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  2. You are quite in tuned to nature – first lizard taming and now I see how great you are with plants and butterflies. That looks fun, but I don't think I would be able to spot those babies – even with my glasses on. I do not have a garden with fresh herbs, but I probably eat bugs unknowingly – YUCK!

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  3. I love what you do to help nature's tiny but beautiful creatures have a good chance at making it. Gross on eating bugs…even though if we all knew all the things we have eaten, we would swear off eating for good, so its good we don't know cuz not eating would get uncomfortable and that's not good either. LOL

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  4. You are a wealth of information, Suz. I have never once taken a close look at my little herb garden. I simply keep the herbs watered and clip to use as needed. From now forward, I'm going to look carefully for eggs. I'm fairly certain I've never eaten a caterpillar or crysalis. I do wash them carefully enough to notice that.

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  5. Pingback: My {fence} field of dreams with Kevin Kostner. – Busy Bee Productions

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