Nearly three weeks ago, I mentioned that one of the dill plants in my garden had attracted some caterpillars. Or, rather, attracted a female butterfly who laid her eggs there. As of the date of that publication, I had been watching fourteen very cute and vibrantly colored eastern black swallowtail caterpillars grow and eat (and man, can they eat) for several days.
Since then, of course, they all went off and transformed into chrysalids. And a week later, I am happy to say, all but one emerged, healthy and beautiful, and flew off to fulfill their butterfly destinies.
It took an hour or two from the time they each emerged for their wings to firm up enough to fly. During that time, I was fortunate to get some great photos. And just this past Sunday, as I was watching the last butterfly gear up for her big departure, something wild and altogether unbelievable happened. Another female black swallowtail appeared and laid eight more eggs (that I can find) on the same dill plant.
So, it looks like I’m not finished raising butterflies for the season, after all. I admit, these miraculous little creatures have brought me much joy over the past several weeks. I love watching them grow and change. The best part, of course, is watching them fly away.
I had hoped to share some of my photos with you. And I’d considered publishing a post with a decidedly philosophical bent, per usual, using the butterflies as an allegorical image of some kind, but in the end I thought better of it.
This one is just for the butterflies. I hope you enjoy it.