The Marvel In My Garden

In early summer of this year I planted my little herb seedlings.  And they grew.  And they grew.  Then one day I went out saw something, something quite small, but quite large at the same time, moving along my dill.  A pest!  In the garden.  So I plucked the pudgy little caterpillars from the dill (bad boys) and put them in a bowl.  Then what did I do next?  As any good blogger knows I got my camera and took a picture.


I could not destroy the wriggling things.  Yes, I know they were eating my dill, but they had to be hungry too, right?  So not having the ability to take their little lives,  I carried them around for awhile, finally depositing them on the far side of the property line where the back lot meets the woods.  I thought on this for awhile, why I didn’t kill them and why that was a good thing.  We come from a line of bug-put-outers.  We grew up capturing and putting out anything from crickets and spiders to bats and flying squirrels.

So, here at the end of summer, I sat nested into the corner of the couch with a book from the library about the care and use of herbs and ran across a page about pests and saw my little caterpillars……and I am glad I saved them.  Know why?  Because they turn into this…….the black swallowtail butterfly.




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13 responses to “The Marvel In My Garden

  1. What a great find! Such a beautiful butterfly. I always wanted to hatch a monarch as a kid, but could never find any milk weed around here. O well…

  2. Did you notice the little heart on the tail?
    When I look at this image there is just so much detail….
    Beautiful post.
    There is something special about butterflies.

  3. oh my goodness – that is one good picture and a story too!

  4. I’m so uncertain about which caterpillars are enemies and which are friends, that I never kill any of them. Beetles yes! Caterpillars no.

    Your post proves I may have saved a few tremendously beautiful creatures.

  5. Wow! Good call…

    I put things out, too…but when it comes to pests in the garden, they become chicken treats.

  6. What a great ending to your story.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  7. P.S. Thanks for your lovely comments to the post I did about my grandma. I appreciate it!


  8. What a beautiful photo of the swallowtail!!
    And a great ending to your story too!
    I was cringing at the beginning of your story recognizing the caterpillars and hoping you did not eek squish them. You are a gentle and mindful mama : )

  9. Mon

    We are bug-pu-outers too, and let many spiders continue living with us…. but I kill mosquitos – no guilt. lol Nature is a harsh existence too.
    But there is so much that we kill that is unnecessary. Like caterpillers. And look how beautiful they become too.

  10. blueskyhi

    From pesky pests a beauty is born. I don’t think you’ll ever kill another caterpillar, and I don’t think I will either.

  11. Lovely!

    I thought those might be butterflies-in-the-making. My friends brought in monarch butterflies and set them free after they transformed…

    Thanks for taking good care of the little guys (and thanks, too, for commenting on my blog)!


  12. syd

    This is just plain breathtaking.

  13. syd

    Maybe this is also a bit… auspicious.

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