Friday, June 26, 2009

Butterfly Season

The Italian Flat-leafed Parsley is gloriously potted and ready for this season's butterfly show. The Black Swallowtails love this parsley. They also love fennel. The lantana is growing and blooming now, and the butterflies are beginning to show up. Soon, a female will lay her eggs and the process of raising front porch butterflies will begin anew.

The above photos are from 2 years ago when I raised and released about 15 Black Swallowtails, all males. My buddy Carroll raised even more, including 2 females. I found the process such fun, so fascinating and educational. Yet it can be heartbreaking. I've learned it's best for me to destroy the parsley after the first brood because a second brood doesn't have time to complete the process to my satisfaction. I get attached. In 2007 a late chrysalis dropped to the soil and I thought it had died, but a miniature, deformed butterfly emerged and it broke my heart watching it struggle before dying. Last year my potting soil was infected with a fungus. I didn't know about the fungus until well into the process, and those chrysalises all died. I'm entirely too soft-hearted about nature, yet I wouldn't call myself naive. As Sting would say, "that's my soul up there." So here we go - Butterfly Season has arrived!

6 comments:

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Wow! Great shots of the butterfly emerging! I didn't know you raised butterflies- very cool!

Eve said...

Good luck this year Debi! I have the same soft spot as you. I did plant some fennel in the garden this year to see what becomes of it's role as butterfly food! If heat and drought doesnt get it first!!
I was a little lazy today to get up but pretty sure I had a Orange Sulphur this afternoon. It's hot out there!!

The Garden Ms. S said...

I completely understand.

I watched a beautiful golden moth struggle and die last summer in front of me. I wished I could something for it. It's amazing how you get engaged in these little lives.

wcgillian said...

That is pretty cool Debi. Never would have thought about raising these little creatures.

wcgillian said...

That is pretty cool Debi. Never would have thought about raising these little creatures.

Diane Schuller said...

what what a venture. And what another insight into your amazing character.

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