I could not have been more amazed today!
I went into the kitchen and found that we had new life!
After all of the dark days we have had, I can only call her my "Miracle In March". A female black swallowtail butterfly emerged from her cocoon in the wee hour before dawn. Hibernating from Fall, picking today to announce her arrival...completing her journey after many months.
F.Y.I. - About Butterfly Gardening
This has been a passion of mine for about 15 years now. Ever since a friend of mine worked for the Dreher Park Zoo in WPB, FLA., and introduced me to it, I was hooked for life!
I watch for the female lay the eggs on the host plant, then I clip the host plant leaf( or leaves ) and bring them inside. You actually can tell when she will lay one. I can get close enough to actually see her deposit it! You can expect to find up to 20 in a clutch; she will just flitter about pick a stem.
Normally they will lay them on fennel, parsley, dill or carrot tops.I fill the terrarium everyday with fresh clippings, and just change the paper on the bottom. They hatch out after about 5-7 days
When the eggs are first laid, they are yellow. As they become more mature, they darken. When they are almost black, you can expect a caterpillar to hatch out. It really is like running a butterfly day care here, since you can expect to have them in different stages for many weeks. For some reason, the males seem to fly west, and the female south, after being released.
The most amazing sight I have seen, is the emergence of a Hummingbird Moth from the chrysalis. If you are familiar with them, they really do look like mini hummingbirds (they even fly backwards, like them.)
I would recommend this project for ANYONE with children, to bring them closer to nature ( and God!!! )There are so many incredible books on the subject. The Easter analogy always touches my heart....and truly this year, with all the loss we and many others, it is especially poignant...this female hatched after the funeral service held for my aunt yesterday and YE I do know that Someone was trying to get my attention :o)
Bet ya didn't expect to get a crash course in butterfly gardening here today ;o)