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Caterpillars & Butterflies

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Last week we had the pleasure of watching over the chrysalises of three polyphemous moths.  Our friends had carefully taken care of the caterpillars, watched them eat and grow, and then build the chrysalis. Unfortunately for them they were on vacation when they were due to emerge, so we watched them. All three successfully emerged and flew off into the night.  They only live for three days-they emerge and then need to mate before they die.  These moths are beautiful and also HUGE.
Polyphemus moths

Polyphemus moth
Aren’t they pretty? Now here in our own garden we’ve had some happy caterpillar excitement. There are monarch caterpillars on the milkweed! The poor milkweed is positively ravaged by the aphids. I’ve seen two ladybugs out there, but I’m sure that’s not enough to gobble the thousands of miniscule aphids.
Aphid Eater
This morning I saw a great big fat monarch caterpillar and a medium sized one.
Monarch Caterpillar
A couple hours later I went back outside and sadly didn’t see the big one anymore, but did see not only a few teeny little ones, but also what I believe are the monarch eggs (a single egg that looks like a poppy seed on the underside of a leaf.) I do hope they survive and are able to make their cocoons. The butterfly garden has not looked especially beautiful or colorful this summer, so I’m extra glad that it has at least proven to be a good habitat. And the bumblebees are going crazy on the catmint.

In the vegetable garden the carrot tops are home to a few black swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.
20140812_123105
Meanwhile the rest of the garden looks dry and crazy, but filled with tomatoes.
TOmatoes
The morning glories run rampant and glorious.
The Garden in Mid-August
And in the pumpkin patch there are lots of gourds, huge leaves, big yellow blossoms, and adorable jack-be-little pumpkins growing.
The Garden in Mid-August
The blackberries are winding down and my freezer is filled with gallons of frozen berries waiting to be made into jam and blackberry-infused vodka.

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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