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Friday’s Hunt v2.9

Friday’s Hunt

This week we’re hunting for Starts with I, Week’s Favorite, and Pink.

“I” is for instar. This is the first-stage caterpillar from the egg of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

I see a huge gap between the first and second photos. Please scroll down to see #2-3. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week’s Favorite: Black Swallowtail chrysalis

If you look closely, you can see the delicate web “girdle” attaching it to the stem. I witnessed a Northern Cardinal snacking on a large caterpillar, so I put a few in an aquarium in the kitchen to preserve some butterflies. 

Pink: Our Encore Azalea is blooming

Linking to:

 

 

Wild Wednesday

That would describe my hair mostly, outside doing some much-neglected yard work.

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I took a “brief” respite from weeding when the temperatures rose above 95F (35C). However, I quickly found the weeds had not. 😦

The other night, hubby spotted a black swallowtail caterpillar on the black-eyed susan (rudbeckia). Silly me thought it was looking for variety in its diet. I should have known better! Today I was deadheading flowers and pruning dead stems. I cut and pulled one stem off the black-eyed susan, OOPS! There was a chrysalis attached to it. I now have it in a vase in the kitchen so we can observe it together. 🙂

The area around the birdbath resembles a jungle, so I pruned some branches so I could fill it, and the birds could find it. I wanted to scrub it, and started to prune some of the ivy where I needed to step closer, and found another caterpillar in the process of attaching itself to a stem. No pruning of the ivy or scrubbing the birdbath today. Sorry for the blur, one of us must have moved. 🙂

I also observed a large caterpillar crawling across the mulch, heading for the vinca and rhododendron. It disappeared quickly, so hopefully it has settled in a safe place where the birds won’t find it. I also found this nest, about the size of a quarter, on another plant. Anyone have an idea what lurks within? 

Mystery mud nest

Black Swallowtail Butterflies

The caterpillars are becoming quite large now. 

There are still some early stage instars, but the larger ones are leaving the host plants and moving onto the next phase. 

I saw one attaching to the grid of the new cover on the platform feeder. It was gone later in the day when I looked for it, possibly eaten by a bird. 

Here’s a link that shows the various stages. 

Hubby saw one attaching itself to the siding on the house next to the back porch, and it was a chrysalis when I got home a couple hours later.

 I’ll keep an eye on it. If all goes well, we should have a brand new butterfly in 10-14 days!

Bonus: This is a cabbage white I found on the butterfly bush recently. 

Butterflies

In anticipation of those lovely winged creatures returning to the backyard, I decided to celebrate them with a blog post. This card was made by dry-embossing a brass stencil on vellum, then layering it over card stock on which the design was stenciled using Brilliance inks.

In 2008, we decided to cultivate a butterfly garden. A work in progress, it attracted several varieties of butterflies; and I got a newfound appreciation for those who are able to photograph them well. There’s a saying, “time waits for no man.” Well, neither do butterflies! They flit and flutter almost constantly in their search for nectar. Some species tend to move away from curious camera-wielding onlookers, some go on about their business, and others will flutter around the head of said curious onlooker!


Tiger swallowtail
Skipper
Buckeye

 

Last year, we planted this:

Butterfly weed

 

 

 

 

And got several of these:

Monarch caterpillars

 

 

 

 

 

Which turned into this:

Chrysalis

 

 

 

 

Then into this:

Monarch

 

 

 

 

Words can not explain the elation I felt in finding this one initially perched on the edge of the potting bench. It was camera shy, and escaped to the side of the electric meter, though its wings were still wet. This was the best gift, ever, to be able to witness the transformation.

What the caterpillar calls the end, the master calls the butterfly.
-Richard Bach