We found a tiger swallowtail egg on our tulip tree sapling in mid-August and welcomed the tiny black and white caterpillar that hatched August 19. We watched the cat hang out in its bed of silk most the of day and wander onto the tulip tree leaves in our container to eat at night. We loved seeing it molt from its black and white self into a sea of green with its large fake eyespots! Plus, it loved to cozy up behind a leaf in its bed and hide from us. It finally turned brown and formed its chrysalis September 24. The tiger swallowtail butterfly, one of our nation's biggest butterflies, will eclose sometime in June 2016. Stay tuned!
We're in the process of saying goodbye to our remaining monarch butterflies. What a great year for monarchs! Looking forward to hearing the reports about the overwintering population in Mexico.
We discovered twelve black swallowtail eggs on our parsley August 31, and the cats are now preparing to become chrysalises. They will overwinter on our unheated back porch and emerge as stunning black swallowtail butterflies in late May or June. Enjoy the winter, guys! See you in spring.
So nice to find this on our tulip tree! The female tiger swallowtail is so beautiful.
Touch it before its wings are freed and leaves us lost in mystery.
So great to see the first pair of mating monarchs in our backyard! I watched this couple fly around and land in our cherry plum tree. Lots of monarchs and eggs in 2015--what a relief.
Free to fly! Fly away . . .
At the children’s program, “Letters to Service Members,” which was held in March at the Des Plaines History Center, several kids and adults wrote letters to a unit serving in Afghanistan. Sue Fox McGovern, publicity coordinator at the History Center, sent off a letter with a promise to release a monarch butterfly in honor of the men and women who are currently deployed. A 30-year serviceman responded to McGovern’s letter in April saying that releasing a butterfly is a “very genuine gesture and means a lot.”
The release took place the afternoon of July 3 in the backyard of the Kinder House. McGovern has raised butterflies for 15 years and was thrilled that her first monarch of the season emerged on the day before Independence Day. The photo shows the monarch resting on McGovern's hand.
We've been seeing the female monarch butterfly in the garden for the last three days!
One down, a dozen more to go!
Our red admiral caterpillar has been eating Pennsylvania pellitory for almost two weeks.
We provide a lot of Pennsylvania pellitory in our container so the red admiral caterpillars can hide if they want to.
Red admirals cats like to silk some leaves together and hide in a shelter as shown here.
So nice to officially start the butterfly season!
BS cat devouring our dill.