Monday, May 24, 2010

benvenuto, black swallowtails!

When I moved from Houston to College Station a few years back, one of the things I missed most was our butterfly garden at the school where I taught. Watching it grow and flourish--seemingly daily--was a wonder. From beginning to end (not that there ever was an end), we dreamed, planned, purchased, planted, and nurtured the perfect home for countless caterpillars and butterflies (and more than a few aphids). I also developed a love, bordering on obsession, for caterpillars and butterflies.

When I arrived home from work about an hour ago I went through the usual routine: Kick off heels, open the mail, feed obnoxiously vocal cats, pour a glass of happiness, then head out back to water the plants.

That's when I saw them: BLACK SWALLOWTAIL CATERPILLARS! On my Italian parsley! First one ... then two ... then three! I swear it felt like Christmas eve. There's something totally moving about knowing those plants out there are hosting some of the most amazing creatures alive. I'm hoping like hell they do their chrysalis boogie someplace close where I can find 'em.

My cup runneth over :).

The pot o' parsley, aka, "Swallowtail 'hood:"

The first visitor I spied:

Numbers two & three:

Tonight's house special: Italian parsley
Maybe in their new lives they'll pose for another photo session?