Giving Up On Parsley…well, not really as I love parsley.
I love parsley so much that I grow it in my herb garden and I grow it in my Herb basket!
Well, I did grow it in my Herb basket until “she” came along.
Who is “she” you ask?
Well, “She” is a female Swallowtail butterfly. (note the blue color near the bottom of her wings).
You see, several years ago, “She” decided to use the parsley in my Herb basket as her “nest”.
Did you know that the swallowtail butterfly lives but a few weeks?
So perhaps it is her kin, but whoever they are, the black swallowtail butterflies come to my Secret Garden every year and lay their eggs in my parsley plants.
First, she lays eggs all over the parsley and as soon as the Caterpillars emerge from the eggs, they begin devouring my parsley like crazy.
I actually remember the first day I saw that pretty black swallowtail laying her eggs.
I was alone in my Secret garden and noticed this large black butterfly with a few yellow dots and pretty blue band at the base of her “swallowtails”.
She was sooooo pretty.
She kept darting in and out among my two different parsley’s….. and so I snapped many pictures …. up close and personal.
Of course, I have to confess that I did not know she was laying eggs….but I commented to the Captain that she certainly liked my parsley and didn’t mind me getting close.
Imagine my surprise when I saw various sizes of pretty little green, black and yellow caterpillars all over the parsley.
When I saw the little buggers, my first instinct was to remove them from the plants as fast as I could….
……..as my plants looked as if a plague of locusts had descended upon my refuge ……
……..and I wanted to stand with staff in hand, fist in the air, proclaiming loudly…”Let my plants alone!”…
Sorry, I got a little carried away with Cecil B DeMille’s Ten Commandments and Moses asking pharaoh to “let my people go”!
I tend to get a bit dramatic at times, as those who follow me know all to well.
But then….then I thought about the beautiful black swallowtail butterflies they would become and I couldn’t do it.
One can buy parsley in the supermarket anytime, but watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly…well, that is a different story.
And when it came down to it, I couldn’t harm or chase away any of God’s creatures…unless it was a slithering serpent, but that is another story for another time.
First thing I did was to check with the Rotary Club just down the road from where we live …to find out if I needed to do something to protect these caterpillars.
(The Rotary Club has a huge butterfly cage that just flutters with all kinda of butterflies. So interesting to watch them).
I was told the same thing my Mother used to tell me, as a child,
when I found baby birds or baby anything….just leave them alone.
Below on the left is a swallowtail butterfly starting to emerge…the green chrysalis on the right is about 8 days old.
I was also told the difference in male and female Swallowtail butterflies…never thought I would be privy to that sort of information.
You can see the blue band on the female….hey, for once the female of the species is a bit prettier than the male. 😉
So, I can’t help but watch them when I am in my Secret Garden…and I can’t wait until they have all spread their wings and are fluttering about my plants and flowers.
I just hope they remember this silly lady with a camera as they (or their kin) come back to visit my Secret Garden.
Because I will certainly remember them.
Isn’t nature wonderful?
Have you ever watched a butterfly emerge from it’s cocoon?
Have a Blessed Day and enjoy the beautiful creatures around you.
Chloe Crabtree says
How amazing to be a part of that little part of nature, right there in your garden! Isn’t it funny when something like that happens and we end up learning so much from it? How long are the caterpillars eating your parsley until they spin their cocoons, do you know? How very sad that the butterflies live such a short time. I guess at that rate, they better keep busy procreating!