Black Swallowtail Caterpillars

This summer I planted three pots of curly parsley and one fennel to try and attract black swallowtail butterflies. I put two pots on the back steps and two pots on my 2nd floor lanai away from the groundhogs and deer. Surprisingly no creature ate the herbs on the ground, but no butterflies laid eggs on the plants either. The plants on the lanai, though, were a huge success and I have had three generations with the latest being 12 caterpillars. Since we’re in October, I’m guessing they will winter over in their chrysalides. Hoping they will all make it to that point. Then I’ll help shelter them from hungry birds during the cold months and watch them emerge next year. Such an incredible process to witness and be a part of.

I used to wonder if doing something like this would be interfering in nature’s way too much, but now I question that stance. I see so many neighbors spraying pesticides needlessly and planting barren, show plants that benefit no animal or insect. We interfere with nature and wildlife at every turn. Why not give a few butterflies a little help?

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Second generation

First one I saw emerge!