Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Two years ago, during our first summer at this house, we discovered the coolest little caterpillars in our garden, favoring the carrot patch.

The were beautiful and interesting,

And when we touched them, they displayed orange "antennae" and a really gross stink for defense.  It's a gland, and it actually sticks out quite a bit further, though I didn't catch it all in the shot.

A little online searching revealed they were Black Swallowtail caterpillars, who happen to love carrot patches.

Here's a female, photo from Wikipedia.  That link will also tell you all you'd want to know about them.

They've come back every year.

This year, on the night of Thursday, August 5, Jim announced they were back.  The next day the kids and I went out to investigate.  There were dozens.

We watched them grow all week.

And Monday night, August 9, they were all gone.  All but one. 

All the others had gone off to safer, more secluded places, anticipating their change.  This one, though we're concerned for it, stayed right in the carrot patch, where we could watch.  It's quite exposed.  So my mothering instincts immediately kicked in.

And early Tuesday morning, after a huge storm, there it was.  Safe, and transformed.

Obviously, we're keeping a very close eye on our little chrysalis.  In about a week, we'll be checking on it several times a day. 

Man I hope we get to see it through.


Anonymous said...

This looks so cool! Please keep the photos coming!!

Anonymous said...

This looks so cool! Please keep the photos coming!!