Last spring, I wrote about the Anise Swallowtail caterpillars that we discovered on our fennel plants. (Click here for the link to that article.)
Unfortunately for the caterpillars, and for blog readers who like tidily completed narratives, something came along and ate the caterpillars.
This year, with some advice from my imaginary friend Alli (wife of decorative painter Patrick, and not to be confused with real-life friend, decorative painter Allie), I collected a few of the caterpillars from our fennel plants, and made them a little home inside of a plastic box.
In addition to writing one of the funniest blogs, ever, Alli is quite an expert in butterfly rearing. She advised me on all of the disgusting pitfalls of this endeavor. Caterpillars eating each other? Yep, she'd seen it. Parasitic wasps hatching out of the bodies of their caterpillar hosts? Horrifying, yet fascinating.
Her kids are lucky to have such a cool mom!
Hopefully, Robb and I won't be completely incompetent butterfly parents. Wish us luck, that we do more good than harm.