Monday, September 16, 2013

Feasting Visually

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we had LOTS of rain this summer. This made my garden produce less than in previous years. I haven't posted many times to the Harvest Mondays. There just wasn't much to report.

I have thought a lot about this post and whether I should write it. But this is the way I decided it. I do have a butterfly garden. We planted it last fall, when my children and I were studying insects for science. And it has been extremely productive for our family this year.

It has produced a feast for the eyes, and full of amazing transformations. We have been simply enraptured watching these interesting creatures.

We saw the mama Gulf Fritillary lay the eggs on the passion fruit vines. Soon afterwards, we saw the first instars of the caterpillars.
Do you see the orange caterpillars among the vines?

Then larger and larger caterpillars. Finally, we started to see this.

Chrysalids from Gulf Fritillary butterflies. Suffice it to say that
they are about an inch apart all along the roofline for 20 or 30 feet. 
Finally, we started seeing some of them emerging. One day, we watched 15 emerge in a single morning!

Chrysalids of Gulf Fritillary butterflies with a couple emerging
We still have many chrysalids, and now our front yard is alive with the movement, the fluttering of butterflies.

Gulf Fritillary on Porter Weeds
It has been wildly successful for us. And some of the plants I planted for the butterflies have also attracted hummingbirds. The porter weed (above) draws hummingbirds even in the pouring down rain.

So, you see, even though I haven't harvested much food from our garden, we have all benefited from the harvests in the butterfly garden.

Hop on over to Daphne's Dandelions and see what others are harvesting.


  1. I've never had a butterfly garden, but when the black swallowtails show up on my dill I make sure to leaves the plants for them. I grow enough for the both of us. I never do see the chrysalids though.

    1. I'd like to add dill to the butterfly garden. My middle daughter loves it. I would really want to see the chrysalids, though. I wonder where they wait before emerging as butterflies.

  2. I've raised a black swallowtail in the house. I found a big caterpillar in my garden, probably on the carrots. I put it in a jar with a sturdy twig, and continued to feed it fresh carrot leaves every day. Eventually it attached to the twig, formed a chrysalis, and emerged later as a butterfly.

  3. Beautiful post! I love the seeing the process! Amazing God!