Following the Stages of the Gluf Fritillary

     What can I say – I’ve been obsessed with capturing all of the stages of the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly. My Passion Flower Vine is right outside my kitchen window. There have been many of the females laying eggs. There have been quite a few caterpillars that I have then enjoyed watching munch the leaves. I was lucky enough to see one attached and morphing into a chrysalis! I’ve read that most of the time they crawl away and you don’t see the chrysalis’.

     Well, as I was enjoying a cup of coffee and the cool this morning in my backyard, I was lucky enough to spy a butterfly that had just emerged and was drying by its chrysalis. It had crawled a good 25 feet from the Passion Flower Vine to attach itself to the wire! I saw its first flight and it landed on one of my Rose of Sharon plants and continued to dry. I hope you enjoy the following photos. All were taken in my Butterfly Garden.

Searching for a leaf to lay an egg

Searching for a leaf to lay an egg on

Gulf Fritillary Laying Eggs

Gulf Fritillary Laying Eggs

Resting in the midst of laying eggs

Resting in the midst of laying eggs

New Caterpillar with PassionVine

New Caterpillar with Passion Vine

Hungry gulf fritillary caterpillar on passion flower vine

Hungry gulf fritillary caterpillar on passion flower vine

Gulf Fritallary Caterpillar

Caterpillar attached and morphing into a chrysalis

GulfFritJustImerged

Saturday morning surprise! – This gulf fritillary butterfly and just emerged. It had crawled a good 10-12 feet from my Passion Flower Vine and attached itself to this wire!

EmptyChrysGulfFrit

Empty Chrysalis

GulfFritStillDryingJPG

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly continuing to dry its new wings on a Rose of Sharon.

Following the Stages of the Black Swallowtail

Several caterpillars appeared on my parsley plants. I noticed that the parsley was almost gone, so I made a trip to the grocery store to buy some organic parsley. I brought the remaining caterpillars inside my house and placed them in the container with parsley. I continued to add parsley until they morphed into chrysalis. Once they were both in the chrysalis stage, I took the container out on my back porch where it was protected, but they were back amongst my herbs where they started. They each took 9 days to complete this stage. They emerged 2 days apart! Happily I was able to enjoy seeing each of them before they took flight into the world!

Black swallowtail Fesating on Parsley

Black Swallowtail Feasting on Parsley

Black swallowtail caterpillar inside a plastic container with parsley.

Black swallowtail caterpillar inside a plastic container with parsley.

black swallowtail chrysalis

Black Swallowtail Chrysalis

Black Swallowtail Sept. 9,2014

Black Swallowtail Sept. 9,2014

Butterfly on Chocolate Mint

Black Swallowtail Butterfly resting on my Chocolate Mint.

second black swallowtail Sept 11,2014

Second black swallowtail Sept 11,2014

Healthy Caterpillar, Captivating Chrysalis

     I watched this black swallowtail caterpillar feasting on fennel for a few days. My herbs are on my back porch. Yesterday it attached itself to the fennel plant and it took all day and didn’t complete its transformation into a chrysalis until after dark! On this relatively cool June morning in North Texas, it is now a beautiful chrysalis! It is just so amazing and fascinating to watch this process!  

Black Swallowtail Butterfly May 2013

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar on Fennel May 2013

Turning into a chrysalis June 2013

Turning into a chrysalis June 1,2013

Black Swallowtail Chrysalis June 2013

Black Swallowtail Chrysalis June 2,2013

Blooms and New Growth

Spring has really shown up! Some tulips I planted in pots were very beautiful for a few days. My roses  are putting on a spectacular show. The yellow coral honeysuckle has also bloomed! I spied the first caterpillar of the spring on some fennel a few days ago. Our newest addition to our yard is our double composting bins. We are having fun adding coffee grounds, egg shells and fruit and vegetable peels to the bins along with our fall leaves and spring trimmings!

Spring Roses April 2013

Spring Roses April 2013

Yellow Coral Honeysuckle

Beautiful Blooms on Honeysuckle

Beautiful Blooms on Honeysuckle

Tulips - April 2013

Tulips – April 2013

Tulips - Up Close April 2012

Compost Bins

Monarch Caterpillar and Friends

Tropical Milkweed  Monarch Caterpillar

Tropical Milkweed with monarch caterpillar and aphid friends.

First monarch caterpillar spied in my garden this fall on this tropical milkweed today.

Many insects may feed on milkweed leaves, seeds, stems or roots. Note the yellow aphids near the flowers and new growth. These have been around for at least a month on these milkweed plants. I have seen ants near the aphids enjoying eating the aphid’s honeydew.Hopefully some hungry ladybugs will eat some of these aphids!