A new journey

The other day I was out poking around in the garden. I was pulling weeds out of the parsley planter, when I noticed something…


And then I saw a second one!


And then a third!


Three little Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars. This is the butterfly they turn into.

jimrobertson_blackswallowtailI’ve never had caterpillars in the garden like this, so I decided to document them. Dave got me a big rubbermaid tub to put their planter in (to keep them safe from predators).

After a couple of days, we had to go out and buy them more parsley plants, as they’d quickly eaten my paltry little patch. We planted some sturdy sticks in with the parsley, as they quickly approached the size they would be ready to make their cocoons.


A day later, one was missing. He’d managed to get out, and unfortunately, he overheated on the patio stones (It’s stinking hot here).

The other two were actively trying to escape, so I pulled the planter out of the rubbermaid tub and set it by the garden. As much as I wanted them to make a cocoon in the planter, at least being near the garden would give them a bit of a chance if they decided to leave.

An hour later, another one was gone. But there was still one left! And he was on a stick in the planter, in “chrysalis” position!


I was hoping to document the process to cocoon, but it’s a slow one, and apparently most of the magic happened overnight, or early the next morning. When I next came outside…


And now we wait… 10 to 20 days to a butterfly! I really hope I can get it on film for you all!

13 thoughts on “A new journey

  1. Araignee

    Oh, wow….we used to do the whole butterfly thing when I was a teacher. We used to buy kits and then have a big ceremony out in the courtyard when we set the butterflies free. As cool at they are, I better NOT see any of them in my little cart garden. They used to destroy the plants I had over at Dad’s.


  2. I absolutely love this post! I have always loved insects, and caterpillars are just beautiful creatures. You are very lucky to get to see this metamorphosis.


  3. This is super exciting! Thank you for doing all this work and documenting it. These are some of the most beautiful caterpillers I have ever seen. I can’t want to go on the rest of the journey.


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