Swallowtail Caterpillars on Rue

I was so happy to see these caterpillars on my rue today! My son planted some rue and other herbs in our front flower bed in the spring. It’s pretty hard to focus on just the caterpillars with my camera. The quality of the photos aren’t that great, but at least the butterflies are laying eggs in my yard!

I actually had seen when a butterfly was laying some eggs on this rue plant around July 19. I’m thinking another one must have laid eggs days later. I’ve been checking for caterpillars in the last 2 weeks. With any luck these will turn into chrysalis’ and then butterflies!

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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

Signs of Spring

Several of my herbs have over-wintered on our back porch protected by old sheets on the nights we had freezes! I’m also lucky that our porch only has southern and eastern exposure! I can’t wait to start planting new seeds and plants for the spring! I’m also looking forward to the butterflies returning! Here are some pictures from today! I included a bunny that was visiting and our sweet beagle who is almost 14 years old. I hope you will be seeing signs of spring also, if you are tired of winter!

Fennel - March 2013

Sage - March 2013

Parsley - March 2013

Bunny behind the daffodils in the flower bed 3/02/13

Bunny in our yard March 2013

Biscuit - March 2013