We’ve got a chrysalis

We’re so happy to see that one of the caterpillars has reached the chrysalis stage. Hopefully, sometime in the next couple weeks we’ll have a new butterfly.I’ve got a fairly good set up for the caterpillars. I keep them in the aquarium until they go into the next stage of their metamorphosis and then I move it to a nursery. I’ve moved the nursery to my craft room where it won’t get as much vibrations of normal life. I put a small bowl with a bit of water in the nursery because I read that the chrysalis needs to have some moisture in the air so it doesn’t dry out. Hopefully the water bowl will help keep enough moisture in the air.

I hope you all have a pleasant rest of the week.

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WildLife Wednesday – Caterpillar Condo

Yesterday evening I was de-beetling my roses when I found a swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on my yellow hybrid tea rose.
The caterpillar was charming on there. I considered leaving it there, but I need to treat my rose for a problem and I couldn’t leave the caterpillar there during the treatment. So, I moved it to one of my fennel plants in my small gnome-flowerbed. Earlier we had noticed there was a couple caterpillars missing from one of the fennels. We presumed the caterpillar was one of the missing ones from the fennel in the small flowerbed. We couldn’t figure out how the caterpillar ended up on the rose bush… until we saw how fast the little fellow is and how far it can travel in a short time.It wasn’t but a few minutes until I saw the caterpillar had left the fennel and ran up and across our wood fence. (sorry about the photo quality. The little guy was moving fast.)I had read that at a certain age these species of caterpillars roamed around before they go to the chrysalis stage. I thought this caterpillar was one step away from spinning silk, so my husband got a pear tree branch for it to climb on. I carefully picked up the caterpillar and put it on the limb. We hoped that it we would get to watch it spin silk and make it’s chrysalis. But it kept climbing out onto to the leaves for a long while and then it fell off onto the ground.I watched it the whole time and was worried it would be eaten by a bird. So I got a small twig and let it climb up on it. It had become my mission to save this caterpillar (and watch it through it’s stages.) I’ve read and saw photos of how folks raise butterflies indoors, it seemed like a good idea. I decided to build the caterpillar a condo and bring it inside. I have an old aquarium that has cracks in it, that I didn’t have the heart to throw away. I’m a hoarder always thinking there’s a craft I can use any old container for even one with cracks in it.

My husband liked the idea. He got a fresh small limb and trimmed the leaves off.  He put it in the aquarium. I put a glass ramekin with a bit of water so the fennel won’t die too quickly. We added the caterpillar and some fennel. My husband thought the caterpillar might get lonely, so we went to the herb bed and got another caterpillar along with the fennel limb it was on.  Now we have 2 caterpillars as sort of indoor pets. I enjoy watching them wonder around the twigs and fennel. Hopefully, they’ll survive and make butterflies in a couple weeks or so.

Have you ever raised butterflies indoors?

Wishing you all beautiful days of flowers and butterflies.

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Gardening, Potato Buckets & Roses

Our squash and cucumbers are producing well. Maybe a bit too well.
Our onions have grown well too. The onion patch is almost ready for a complete harvest.
Despite the critters, our beans are trying to produce. Luckily, we had enough for a small cooking of them.
We’re happy to have our first tomatoes, even though they need to sit a few days to completely ripen.
Yep, we are quickly becoming squash poor…  😀
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Our corn is tasseling and getting silky ears. I can hardly wait for the first sweet harvest and cooking.
Our garden is at that special point where it’s not pretty and clean anymore. But it’s producing and that’s the important thing.
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We went ahead and dumped the wilty potato plant bucket out. The plant was rotten down in the bucket. I guess there was something about it that made it fail to thrive.The potato plant in the bucket that we have left is gorgeous. It’s healthy and green and has little buds ready to bloom. Hopefully it’s well on the way to growing a potato or two.
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Recently, we bought a couple of rose bushes.
We haven’t had any in years and thought it might be fun to have some.
Plus they might attract a few more butterflies.
The ‘yellow hybrid tea rose’ is attracting japanese beetles and insects, but the red ‘knock out’ rose is bug free. I reckon the yellow rose must be sweeter than the red one. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve seen a few japanese beetles in our corn. But now that we have the roses, the corn is beetle free. Honestly, we’re glad the japanese beetles are attracted to the rose and leaving our corn alone. I use the old stomp & squish method to control the japanese beetles. Hopefully, I won’t have to resort to pesticides.~*~
There’s never a dull moment with gardening. It’s a lot of work, but it’s enjoyable work and the rewards are a beautiful bounty.

I hope you all have a pest free week full of beauty and goodness.

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Potato Buckets & Squash

The potato buckets are proving to be an interesting experiment. The two potatoes I used came from the same bag, but the two plants look like two different varieties. One is a healthy green and looks like a regular potato plant. The other one is a dark green and has smaller leaves and the plant is puny. I’ve had to trim several of the leaves off the puny one because they were wilted. Unfortunately, Neither have bloomed. I’m curious to see how this experiment turns out.

Our squash is doing really well. We already have much more than we need.
Our cucumbers are producing just enough for us to enjoy with our meals.

That’s all my gardening updates for the moment.

I hope you all have a productive rest of the week.

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