Herb bed, Rose Cutting, a Chrysalis and stormy weather

We cleaned up the herb bed Sunday.
We cut back the Stevia and pulled up and bagged the dead herbs and flowers.
It looks better, but still sad after the lush year it had.
I discovered that my accidental rose cutting is trying to bud.
I’m so surprised. I doubt the weather stays warm long enough for it to bloom, but I’ll keep an eye on it and see how far along it gets.
My husband came in from working outside and told me to come and look at something. He said it was something I needed to see.
I followed him to the shed with my camera in hand.
He pointed to a space in the shed door and said, “Look at that.”
I was so tickled to see a black swallowtail butterfly chrysalis in the space. It’s overwintering there. How cool is that?
It’s been storming all night here and it’s still going on. It’s the whole show complete with lightning and sound effects along with curtains of wind and rain. Shelibean is not happy at all. He’s snuggled down under a blanket beside me feeling quite protected from the weather-at-large.

Here’s wishing you all gentle weather this Tuesday.

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly Lifecycle

Here’s my video of the black swallowtail butterfly emerging from it’s chrysalis. It’s pretty neat to see the butterfly emerge and watch it climb as high as it can. My video isn’t perfect, but I’m glad to have it anyway.

Here’s a gallery of the basic lifecycle of the black swallowtail butter from egg to butterfly. 
*There another stage not shown; a shedding of the skin off of the chrysalis. I wasn’t quick enough to capture that stage in a photo or on video.
These photos are from different butterflies. I tried to choose the clearest photos to share. I copied some of them from my video of the chrysalis hatching(?).

And for now, with the exception of watching new caterpillars in the wild, this ends my butterfly farming for the year.  I think it was a success.

Wishing you all a successful week.

*edited in 7-12-2017- Over the past few days, I’ve been watching some black swallowtail butterfly eggs and today I discovered they hatched. I managed to get a photo of the tiny caterpillar less than 24 hours old. I added the photo to the gallery.

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Wip Wednesday – Joy In The Journey, Potato Bloom & Chrysalises

Only one of these are truly my work-in-progress and the other two is the wip of Mother Nature.

I’ve started working on my ‘Joy In The Journey’ cross stitch that I strung on a frame last January. I used regular sewing thread and gridded the fabric off in 20×20 stitch blocks to help me with the count. I like the look of the grid so well that I’m going to leave it. I think the grid gives it a sort of nostalgic look. It’s slow going, but it’s coming along.My potato plant in the bucket has started blooming. I think potato blooms are so pretty. This experiment is moving along pretty well so far.We ended up with 7 Black Swallowtail Butterfly Chrysalises. We brought in 5 caterpillars that are now in the chrysalis stage. Then the other day after a storm we found two chrysalises in the top of our fennel plant. They’re the ones on the left side of the photo. We brought them in because where they were in the fennel they were too tempting to birds.
I’ll take the individual twig of the chrysalis outside as the butterfly start to emerge. I look forward to seeing the lovelies emerge.

Wishing you all a success with your works-in-progress.

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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 Black Swallowtail 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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