For the past month or so, I have been watching black swallowtail caterpillars devouring my Italian parsley. First, there were five or six sizable ones and a slew of tiny ones just beginning to develop. Before I went on my Florida trip, I counted them and took pictures so I could see how much they changed in a week. When I got back, only three of the big, fat, juicy ones were there, and only about half the number of smaller ones were still clinging to the leaves.
I went to Maine and Boston for a week and kept tabs on the little fellers each time I called my husband. Alas, he said, only two were left. The plumpest ones were goners.
“I saw a dove in the garden, ” my husband said. “I think that’s our culprit.”
I’ve been keeping an eye on those two big boys every day since I returned, and they have been so fun to watch, as they’ve munched and munched my parsley leaves. Those two were still there this morning. Now there is only one. Will it ever make it to its chrysalis stage? I’m not holding my breath.
Great close-up pictures!
Thanks, Shanghai. That little camera has a better macro than my big one, I think.
I love your caterpillars! I’m looking forward to Spring so I can look for bright wormy bugs in my yard!
Surprisingly, Margie, a few people aren’t caterpillar lovers, but everyone thought they were beautiful.
They are such beautiful creatures. I hope the last one made it.
Well, Robin, I hate to tell you…
Amazing photos. My son was really fascinated with them as well!
Glad you shared them with your son, MM.
Amazing photos of the little guy. Such a beautiful little creature.
Thanks, Leah. I agree he was definitely a handsome fellow.
Beautiful pictures of beautiful creatures.
Thanks, Winsomebella. Pretty things can come in small packages.
Wow! Thanks for reminding me to take the time to look closely at the lowly caterpillar. I’m always focused on the butterflies that flit through my yard. This fat guy munching away on your parsley is beautiful. Really nice photos!
Reminds me of the children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” Mama.
Try as we will, humans simply cannot duplicate the color schemes in nature! Your caterpillar photos are a super example. They are exquisite!
Thank you, Dor. Their colors are spectacular, I’ll have to agree.
Gorgeous creatures and beautiful close ups.
Thank you, Georgette.
Never seen caterpillars that are so pretty. Mind you I have never been one for looking at caterpillars. I am likely to be more upset because they have devoured my parsley?
I think caterpillars are fun to watch, Judith, and I love the ones that I know will eventually turn into beautiful butterflies. I would have enjoyed using my parsley, but I thought it was a small price to pay to watch the caterpillars.
Beautiful shots of the caterpillars. It reminds me of me getting engrossed in a monitored nest of peregrine falcons. One of the eggs was a dud that was eventually kicked out of the nest ~ I was heartbroken. The “babies” were one male and one female. The male had a flight accident early in his solo travels and luckily was found and taken to a rehab. I had to go back a year later to be sure he had healed and returned. He had. Our fascination with nature will lead to a better relationship with the earth and more conscientious choices.
Thank you for your comment, Carol. I especially liked the last line. I love the natural world and the creatures it holds. Well, except for mosquitos. I could definitely live without those!
They look like they’ve been painted! (I’m not accusing you of fraud.) Amazing photos!
Okay, you found me out, SC. I confess I painted them. LOL! I do have to admit, though, that they are beauties. I don’t think you can paint colors quite that vivid.
Your photos are stunning. I never thought I’d say that about a caterpillar photo before. It’s a handsome fellow, I hope it makes it, but I figure the doves will make lunch of him too. At least you have these awesome photos to remember them by. 🙂
I don’t like all caterpillars, E.C., but the ones that turn into beautiful butterflies are usually beautiful themselves.
Striking beautiful, colors!! Nice shots! It must be a lot of fun to watch them munching. Thank you for the post!
I should have taken a video of them eating, but then I’d have to figure out the whole YouTube thing so I could post it on my blog.
Wow those caterpillars are beautiful! I can’t wait to hear if that last one makes it…
Um…Well, Julia. By the time I finished posting and went to check on the little guy, he had disappeared, but I’d like to think he crawled off somewhere to start his chrysalis. Much nicer than contemplating the alternative.
Beautiful pictures!!! It’s fun to observe nature, even if it is destroying our hard work!
Thanks, J toE. I didn’t mind giving up my parsley for the little critters. I would love to have seen the black swallowtail butterflies in the spring, though.