You may recall that recently we posted a picture of a Black Swallowtail butterfly close to our potted parsley plant. Because of our experiences last August, we knew that Black Swallowtail caterpillars will eat parsley so a few days ago Mom went to check the parsley plant to see if possibly the butterfly had laid eggs on it. She was able to see several really small black caterpillars with a white stripe across the middle. You may need to click to biggify this picture to see the caterpillar better - it is just below the middle of the photograph. It was taken on August 18th and is already pretty zoomed. They were SMALL!
On the 22nd, the humans counted 6 total caterpillars on the plant, which had developed spots and grown considerably, but were still small. This picture is still zoomed a lot.
We are going to continue to follow these critters, so long as they don't get washed away or blown away by hurricane Irene on Sunday, because we expect to be impacted strongly by the hurricane here.
For comparison, last August (2010), things were a bit further ahead at this time: the two caterpillars we had were already butterflies by August 28th. I blogged about the whole process then. Here are two pictures from LAST year, the first of the caterpillar at its biggest August 15th, and the second of the butterfly that emerged from the chrysalis on the 28th. We hope to get to see the process again this year, though closer to the Fall like this, the butterflies don't "hatch" until the Spring.
And in other current gardening news, our lazy basil plants that Dad started from seeds are doing a lot better, and Mom even picked 4 small leaves to use in cooking dinner last night!
And last, but definitely not least, the Auction being held to help Sammy Andy Shelly and their family will be ending tomorrow, the 26th. There are some wonderful things being auctioned such as 2 Peggy Blankies, a catnip quilt, jewelry, cards, kitty frames, a kitty tote, pashminas and shawls, books by Max and Sparkle and Fin, a Petsmart gift card, etc. Most of the items include shipping! Click on this link to go to the auction page.