{Gardening}: Butterfly misses

Every summer for the last 10 years or so I raise Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies. It began quite by accident when I discovered four plump green caterpillars on a potted fennel plant. I’ve always been observant of nature but raising these beautiful insects made me even more so. I now notice the cyclical nature of wildlife; insects in particular. There are good years and bad years it seems for every species. This season is no different. Sadly, it is not one for butterflies; rather, it is not conducive to raising larger butterflies. Tiger Swallowtails, Easterns, Mourning Cloaks, Pipevines are all few and far between. We’ve had record breaking temps this June when we usually don’t get triple digits until August. The lack of rain has parched the ground, dried up the wildflowers (or caused them to bolt early if luck would have it) and brought the driest of heat that I can remember. To date, I’ve had two caterpillars. Both were in May. I doubt there will be anymore this year. Even the passion vine that is usually a nursery for the Gulf Fritillary is void of its usual orange and black spiked munchers. We need rain. Badly. Not only for the wildlife but for the landscape.

For now, I’ll have to enjoy my precious ‘pillars through previous years pics.

caterpillar, butterfly, gardening, eastern black swallowtail

pudgy baby

Magnificent creatures butterflies are…

eastern black swallowtail, butterfly, gardening

It’s a boy!

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