For the last few summers, Robb and I have collected the Anise Swallowtail caterpillars that we find on our fennel, and raise them in our pantry. This keeps them safe from hungry birds, and other predators. The caterpillars eat voraciously, and form chrysalises quite quickly.
After that, it's anyone's guess how long it will take for the butterflies to emerge. Most come out in a few weeks, but some overwinter. We need the space, so we don't keep a tank of chrysalis-encrusted twigs in our pantry all winter. We stick them in a flowerpot in the garden, and hope for the best.
On March first, I was watering my plants when I noticed this butterfly, freshly emerged from it's cocoon. It was unfurling its wings and gaining strength. It was a lovely surprise on a beautiful spring morning.
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Blog readers who haven't abandoned us must be wondering when Robb and I are going to emerge from our blog-stasis. In truth, we've been hugely busy, and I've been simply too tired to write about any of what's going on.
And this week, I'm also sick as hell with laryngitis, and what's probably bronchitis. My physical state is not particularly enchanting at the moment.
But at some point, I'll re-emerge. And I'll write about all the lovely things that have been going on.
But it may take a little while.