I had some very special weekend visitors.
There was this lovely Gulf Fritillary butterfly.
A beautiful monarch butterfly.
And this regal Eastern Black Swallowtail butterfly.
(Not pictured::one very skittish Painted Lady butterfly.)
Also…I was vveerrryyy productive this weekend. <<insert winky face here>>
A couple of weeks ago I shared that I had discovered two swallowtail larvae in my back garden. One of the larvae had already attached itself to a large basil stem and bowed its head into the upside-down J shape. You could see the beginnings of the ‘silk’ thread that the chrysalis would eventually hang by. My hope was that I would be able to witness this miraculous metamorphosis firsthand and capture it with my camera.
I’m sad to report that something got to my caterpillar before it could completely pupate. I’m not sure what exactly happened – it could have been a bird, wasp, or other insect – butterfly larvae are vulnerable to all kinds of predators. In fact, only about 2% of butterfly eggs actually make it to adulthood.
I have a whole new appreciation for these winged wonders. And now whenever I see a butterfly in my garden, I will see it for the miracle that it truly is.