Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Caterpillars

June 1, 10:36AM: Baltimore checkerspot caterpillar on cage around turtleheads.

I moved a few withered caterpillars from elsewhere in the meadow to the turtleheads in the wetlands garden. They find their way to non-host plants like sedges and rushes, and I move them back to a host plant, hopefully where there are few caterpillars to compete with. I caged the turtleheads to prevent deer browse on the plant (and the caterpillar) and birds from plucking the spiny creature.

12:06PM: Chrysalis formed.

Belly of the chrysalis.


June 2: Black swallowtail caterpillar on dill from the garden.

I brought all inside and replenished the dill every few days. Immense caterpillar droppings, so I put the caterpillar, vase, and herbs into an attractive Home Depot bucket and placed the assemblage on a table in the dining room (just days after dusting, the cliches - can't have anything nice and clean twice a year, whether it needs it or not come to mind). The caterpillar grew by 50% in just a couple days.

June 7, 4PM: Black swallowtail caterpillar on chickasaw plum prunings.

I added a couple trimmings to the bucket. Just in time. As of last night, the caterpillar began forming its chrysalis.

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