Magic Touch & Her Fennel

Fennel is by far my Favorite Herb to grow in my Garden….Magic Touch & Her Gardens, Fenneland it is not because I use it for cooking. I plant it to grow Butterflies…Black Swallowtail Butterflies

Black Swallowtail, Magic Touch & Her GardensBlack Swallowtail, male

Growing Butterflies became a hobby of mine when my son was just a little guy.

If you have Fennel or Parsley in your garden,  you have more than likely discovered caterpillars on your plants. And at first you did all you could to get rid of them…

Not so fast…Not only is there beauty in the caterpillar…

Blk Swallowtail Caterpillar Magic Touch & Her GardensThe process is pretty amazing

Black Swallowtail Egg Magic Touch & Her GardensPlant Fennel and they will come…

Perspective Magic Touch & Her GardensThis image is to give you perspective…

You need to look really close to see the eggs and the newly hatched caterpillars.

Blk Swallowtail Instars, Magic Touch & Her GardensCaterpillars have 5 instars, this image shows the first and second instar.

Between Instars, Blk Swallowtail, Magic Touch & Her GardensHere you see the caterpillar climbing out of its skin. This is the process between instars. The skin then becomes a meal to provide nourishment for the growing caterpillar.

Caterpillar Magic Touch & Her GardensThird inster

4th instar Blk Swallowtail Magic Touch & Her GardensForth instar, it now has its color…

Caterpillar & Penny Magic Touch & Her GardensHere you can see the third & fifth instars…Look at the size difference…

Blk Swallowtail attached by a Thread Magic Touch & Her GardensAfter the caterpillar has finished eating it will climb a branch and attach itself by a thread. Overnight it will shed its skin one last time and reveal its Chrysalis…

Green Chrysalis Magic Touch & Her GardensThis Chrysalis is green, most are brown…

Magic Touch & Her Gardens, Blk SwallowtailThe difference in color is actually determined by the branch the caterpillar climbs, or in this case, basket. Smooth branches is read as new growth, or  green, and rough branches are read as old,or brown. Nature’s way of providing the caterpillar camouflage…

And now for the reveal…

Magic Touch & Her Gardens, Blk Swallowtail.When a butterfly first emerges from its chrysalis it is very wet. It spends hours pumping its wings to dry them, and it unfurls its proboscis,drinking straw,before it is ready to take flight….

Magic Touch & Her Gardens, Blk Swallowtail..

Black Swallowtail, female

Fennel isn't just for cooking Magic Touch & Her Gardens

12 thoughts on “Magic Touch & Her Fennel

  1. This is probably one of my all time favorite posts you have done! Awesome pics and the transformation captured like you did was amazing!!! Great job!

  2. oh no I have been rooming them., thought they ate my parsley and fennel., so let them eat it???
    This year yes I will., now I feel so bad., I did not destroy them or at least I hope not., I delivered them across the street into woods.

  3. What a wonderful blog Judy! I wasn’t aware of what was eating my parsley last year immediately, but then it occurred to me that it wasn’t the groundhog, but caterpillars. I didn’t spot one last year, but you know I’m planting more of that and fennel this year! Thanks for the pictorial tutorial. Nancy ❤

  4. Pingback: Surrounded by Sunflowers & Sunshine @ Magic Touch & Her Gardens | Magic Touch & Her Gardens

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