Monday, August 27, 2007

Got Bugs?

With the exception of spiders, I've always had a fondness for insects and other backyard critters. I used to love to collect caterpillars, inch worms, and other bugs that wouldn't bite or sting. I also loved pollywogs, frogs, and toads. In fact, one summer in elementary school, my friend Amy and I had a toad circus in her backyard.

I still like bugs (and still am somewhat terrified of spiders, but am now able to get within 3 feet of them). Our backyard has been terrific for bug scouting---you don't have to look very hard to find all kinds of bugs. On Saturday morning I discovered something eating my parsley... and it wasn't a Japanese Beetle for once. There were 3 Black Swallowtail caterpillars in my parsley. I wished I had a cage to save them in so I could have watched them become butterflies. If I had kids, I'm sure I would have jury-rigged something. Instead I gently plucked off the parsley springs with the caterpillars and relocated them into another part of the yard.

What amazes me is that these caterpillars (also known as Parsley Caterpillars) were able to find my parsley plants which are in pots on the railing of the deck. They must have an amazing sense of smell and a huge determination to eat their favorite food. Let's see if they come back to visit again. If they do, I might just have to surrender the parsley to them and wait to see them return as butterflies next spring.

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