Monday, August 8, 2011

The Butterflies Are Here At Last

Every morning I am greeted in my garden by something new and wonderful and today it was the emergence of Black Swallowtail butterflies from my butterfly garden!  I have been watching the caterpillars on the bronze fennel for weeks now in their various stages of development.  Then a few weeks or so ago I noticed a chrysalis on the ceramic pot where my powder puff tree is planted and then today, it was empty and sitting on the side of the pot next to it, drying its wings was this beautiful butterfly. 

The caterpillars are veracious feeders and have completely descimated the bronze fennel but since I planted it there just for them, I don't mind.  It is loaded with cats and soon I will be loaded with butterflies!  

Hopefully I will be able to witness the metomorphosis of the next batch.  I think some are ready to enter the pre pupa stage so stay tuned for more photos.

The butterfly garden idea was conceived last fall when the Master Gardeners had their annual plant sale up the street from me.  They had an entire section devoted to just plants that attract butterflies.  I had just the spot for such a garden so began to plan. 

Before I bought this house there were a few ficus trees in the back yard but after a hard winter and heavy freezes, the ficus trees died and once I owned the house, I cut the dead trees down.  Above is the yard the way it was before I bought the house. Below is the progression of the garden to date.