Black Swallowtail caterpillars spotted in the garden today

Great Tuesday work day today in the Crooked Garden this morning. Overcast and a little bit rainy, but very comfortable for our gardening purposes. Lynn Moore and Jody Brown worked in the garden today with the curator. Jody was weeding the “Carrot family” plants (the host plants for the Black Swallowtail butterfly) and she called out that she spotted a caterpillar on one of the fennel plants. It was great to finally find some of the caterpillars as we have been watching for them ever since we planted the herbs last year. We actually spotted three “cats” on three different fennel plants and it looked like they were in their final instar and ready to pupate any day now.
You never know what kind of fun surprises that are waiting to be discovered, when you are working in the Crooked Garden.

 [The following Crooked Garden file photographs were taken several years ago, and since all Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars look the same in their final instar, the curator chose to use these to better represent his narrative.]