Wednesday, 28 August 2019

A New Visitor to our Yard

This morning I was out cleaning the Caterpillar Castle. A giant swallowtail butterfly flew in and fed on the butterfly bush. Unlike the monarch that rests to feed, the giant swallowtail's wings never stopped fluttering. It was hard to get a good shot with my sub-par camera.
If you look closely you'll see the dangly bit which I guess is the 'swallowtail' missing on the left hind wing.


It kept coming back to this flowering shrub. I think Skip should plant two of them next year.

We have had a few of what people are calling 'Japanese beetles' in the garden this year. I have been zapping them with our bug zapper.
The zappers are battery operated and are great for electrocuting undesirable insects in the garden and in the house. We've heard of other people having so many of the beetles in their gardens that most of the foliage has been consumed but we (thank goodness) haven't been plagued with that many.

A few days ago I collected 5 or 6 eggs on newly emerged milkweed in the garden. They started hatching two days ago. They're about 1/8" long at first and by the time they pupate (form the chrysalis) they will have grown 2000x in size and 3000x in weight.
As of today, I have 6 little larvae like the one pictured, 3 medium to large ones, 3 chrysalids, and I've released 26 adults. I've already bettered my tally from last year (25). I haven't found (or really looked for, for that matter) any eggs in the last couple of days. I did find a patch of fresh milkweed near a good place to park the car so will continue to pick some of that as long as I have hungry larvae.

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