Caterpillars on the fennel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     What’s scarier than Buggy or the One Red-Eyed Wolf?  Green caterpillars with black and white stripes and orange horns!    Ok, maybe they aren’t so scary. (Well, they are a little scary if you click on the picture and see the eNORmous image of them.)  They are rather amazing.  We found 10 of them on the fennel yesterday.  We put some of them in jars with fennel to see what happens.  We’ll leave some on the fennel, though.  They will be happier outside.  Plus, since I failed to actually harvest my fennel seed last year, I have way more fennel than I need.   The caterpillars are certainly welcome to it.

These caterpillars will become black swallowtail butterflies.  They are almost ready to latch onto a twig, spin a chrysalis and turn into butterflies.  Sometime in the next two weeks we should have some new winged neighbors fluttering by the butterfly bush.

And those orange horns?  That’s a defense mechanism.  They stick them out and make a stinky smell when they need to scare someone, like PopPop.  We didn’t notice the stinky smell, though, because PopPop already smelled like a cigar.  And that’s pretty stinky.