I usually don’t post twice in one day, but today is an exception because I am filled with child-like excitement. Remember the swallowtail caterpillars I posted on September 18th? Well, the kids thought it would be cool, and I did too, to see what would happen if we kept the caterpillars in Gracie’s bug catcher. We carefully placed the caterpillars in the bug catcher and gave them handfuls of parsley. We diligently checked on them, replenished their parsley and even gave them water. After a few days I worried that maybe we were hindering their natural process and decided it best to put them back on the parsley plants. Two of them left the bug catcher with grace, not to look back. The other two however, were stuck to the bug catcher. At first I thought maybe they were dead and I felt terrible. But, after closer observation, I noticed they were both still moving when I jarred the catcher a bit and they were stuck to the catcher by what looked like silk threads. Sure enough, this was the beginning of the process for making their cocoons. One caterpillar made his/her cocoon first and several days later the second is snug in his/hers. I’m posting images, not artistic, but more scientific in nature, for you to see. I feel like we have successfully completed a science project! We are now anxiously awaiting the other two, who are still fattening themselves on parsley, to make their cocoons. We can’t wait to observe their transformation into butterflies. Just hoping we don’t miss it.
Such a miracle we are blessed to be witnessing! Honestly I think I’m more excited than the kids. And, to think we didn’t even have to buy a “butterfly kit”!
One cocoon. Notice the light shining in. It was a beautiful day when I took this image. The cocoon looks more green. It really was pale green in color at first, and I think the reflection of the green wire enhanced that.
Two cocoons. A much cloudier day for the second day of existence of the second cocoon. Notice the silk strands holding the cocoons in place. So amazing!
This evening when I went out to get parsley from the herb garden I found these interesting, beautiful creatures. I was not sure if they were caterpillars or some type of pest similar to a tomato worm just visiting to take what remains of the summer herbs. I ran inside to research my find and found that the Swallowtail Caterpillar apparently loves to eat Parsley. The Swallowtail Butterfly drops her eggs on the Parsley plant in July and by mid- September the caterpillars have grown and live off of the plant until time for their transformation. Nature is so amazing. Little miracles exist all around us and are just waiting to be discovered. Keep your eyes open, they are often in disguise.
Just a side note about the photographs. This afternoon was rainy, and cloudy, and very, very windy. With that said I wanted to keep the shutter speed as high as possible, wanted to avoid additional noise so kept the ISO at 400, and therefore had to have the aperture pretty open at 5. As a result, the shallow depth of field and some motion blur give way to images that are not quite crisp, but I don’t think this fact takes away from the overall capture.