A garden is the best alternative therapy.

A lovely female Black Swallowtail came by the garden several times today and a couple of times I was able to run and get my camera before she fluttered off.  I ran back to find that she was checking out the fennel plants.  She wasn’t busy feeding – no, she had other things on her mind.  If you look a little closer, you’ll see …

Her abdomen is cupped under her, rubbing on the bottom side of a few fennel leaves.   She’s laying more eggs!  She made a few passes through the yard, stopping only on these four fennel plants to do her business.  She seemed entirely disinterested in the parsley.

In case you don’t believe me, I found a handful of these little eggs on the fennel after she left:

Well, I don’t know how they find their favorite host plants.  From my perspective, it seems impossible to locate four little plants amongst an entire neighborhood of plants!

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Comments on: "“If you build it, they will come…”" (4)

  1. How exciting! I saw a swallowtail last week, but in the front yard, not the back where the fennel and dill are. I would like to pull up the dill near my tomatoes (they’re allegedly not good companion plants), but don’t want to disturb any eggs. Patience!

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Yes, patience! I have four parsley plants that I want to pull up, but I’m waiting … At least a couple more weeks. I think I’ll give them the once-over for any eggs. If I find some, maybe I can place them in a container inside to see if they hatch. If they do, I just need to provide some daily sustenance (the leaves of one of their host plants) and hopefully get them to the chrysalis stage and later watch them emerge as butterflies!

  2. Amazing capture! Isn’t it amazing how they can find fennel?

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