Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's a Butterfly!

Last year we bought some parsley plants and positioned them in the yard near the area where we get a lot of butterflies, hoping to entice one of the swallowtails to lay eggs on or near them. No luck last year, but this year we were delighted to spot 3 caterpillars on the parsley! One of them grew very fast and when it was quite big and fat, it moved to a pipe near the faucet in the garden area and made a chrysalis of itself. We checked on this every day. On Sunday morning DH went out to look at it and it was still green, closed, and attached to the pipe, so he came in to feed the pets. That done, he went back out to turn on the sprinkler and lo and behold! The butterfly had emerged and was drying its wings! He came in to tell me of this great event and of course I went out, camera in hand.

Here is the butterfly, perched right above its vacated chrysalis.

While out there I checked on the one remaining caterpillar that we had been able to keep track of (don't know where the third one went). We had had to purchase two more parsley plants to keep this one eating.

We hope that when it moves off to form the chrysalis it either chooses an extremely conspicuous spot like the last one, or that we happen to catch it while in the process.

DH just happened to be in the garden area when the newly-made butterfly left the pipe and fluttered into the woods--pretty neat to see its first flight!