black swallowtail butterfly
This afternoon while we were removing our rose bushes (all infected with witches broom), a female black swallowtail butterfly stopped to visit the butterfly bush–a treat! This butterfly variety likes to lay its small yellow eggs on parsley, dill, fennel and Queen’s Anne lace, all of which are in our gardens. I am hoping that she did some egg-laying while in the neighborhood–perhaps we will soon see her caterpillar offspring. At first, swallowtail caterpillars are black and spiky with a white belt around the middle. Later, they lose the spikes, turn a lovely shade of spring green, and develop a yellow and black striped pattern.