Tag Archives: black swallowtail

Madame Butterfly

Ever since the first black swallowtail caterpillars turned up in my dill patch, I’ve been referring to the little guys as “him,” provoking some friends and relatives to accuse me of being sexist. Well, now I know that (for the … Continue reading

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The Caterpillar Rescue League

Nineteenth-century Americans were obsessed with butterflies. They called them “flying flowers” and “flying jewels,” in the words of Augustus Radcliffe Grote. But in those days, butterflies were more plentiful than they are today. Walt Whitman described walking down country lanes … Continue reading

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Rescuing Dilbert (the Caterpillar)

Nature seems to unfold so effortlessly. Flowers bloom, pollinators arrive, caterpillars form their chrysalises and emerge weeks later as splendid butterflies. Well, sometimes it’s that easy. Sometimes it isn’t. The second of my black swallowtail caterpillars, whom I dubbed Dilbert, … Continue reading

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Beetles and Snails and Mites, Oh My!

My father was a saint–or slightly dotty, I’m not sure which. An Episcopal priest who was highly influenced by the Quakers, he was a gentle soul who, in his later years, would ask permission of flowers before picking them. If … Continue reading

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