August 28, 2017 – It is cool and cloudy this morning. The line of rain that was heading this way from the northwest predictably split into a northern mass and a southern mass, leaving us dry in the middle. But the remnants of rain, or even a near miss of rain, make for a beautiful sky. The rising sun paints highlights and shadows on a soft blue background. Soft pieces of gray fluff drift by…Meanwhile, on the ground, we have new, many-legged life appearing here and there… on the milkweed
…and on the parsley.It’s fascinating to watch these guys go through their life cycle… eating and growing and eating and growing. However, we’ve found that when they reach a certain size, the birds get them and/or they wander off in search of a chrysalis site. So here’s what I asked Joe to build…It doesn’t have a “floor.” Its four legs just stick into the ground, so it can be placed right over any plant that happens to have a few caterpillars clinging to it. Also, this year, Joe added a removable top… handy for replenishing the food supply. At the moment, we’ve got about five swallowtail caterpillars of various size in residence. Inside their house, they are safe and we can watch their growth as they munch away at the fennel. It’s not “air-tight,” though, and some still manage to escape as they get ready to transform.
So, this time of year, we don’t harvest many herbs; we leave them for the caterpillars.
We don’t have a caterpillar house for the monarchs yet… that’s on the list for next year. This guy will have to take his chances. He certainly seems up to the challenge.Nature doesn’t really need any help from us; we just need to stay out of its way.