Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Maple Hill Hop 129

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.*

At this time of the year,
there's something I've come accustom to doing
when leaving Farm School on the weekend.
I bring home a jar filled with parsley, dill and these...

black swallowtail caterpillars.
There were 20 or so for me to take home and add to my garden.

They eat dill and parsley,
two crops that Faye & Lynn grow to sell,
so they can be found in abundance once the season hits.
In order to keep them in herbs
and  keep the cats alive,
I bring them home to our garden to live.

I grow lots of parsley, 
some for them, some for me.
It is usually harvested before the onslaught arrives.
By the time the cats are relocated to our yard,
much of it has been picked, chopped and placed in the freezer.
There's still plenty for our lil' friends.

What do we do with all these critters?
For the last few years, we've placed an ad on Craig's List,
which takes care of the multitude of cats we host.
They are given to folks who want to learn more about the life cycle of the butterfly.
There's no charge, we just like sharing the good stuff.
We educate them on their new charges,
letting them know what host and nectar plants are needed,
and what they can expect over the next two weeks.
It's been well-received.

Another caterpillar has been visiting for a few weeks now.
(How do you like our "new" wheelbarrow 
that we found in a neighbor's trash pile?)

The monarchs were the first ones back this spring.
They've been enjoying the native milkweed,
which has come back with abandon!

The warmer months can be a bit of a challenge for us,
but these sweet, ravenous creatures help us get through.
I, for one, am truly grateful.
They are a source of endless fascination.

Here are a few related posts:
Hosting Butterflies 
Home to Monarchs 
Nurturing Nature-Butterflies and Caterpillars

That's what's happening outside where we are.
How 'bout you?
HOP on!



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