When I decided to grow fennel this year, I knew I'd be rewarded with some good food...but I had no idea I'd also get this:
This little fella is one of about 6 black swallowtail caterpillars I found hanging out on my fennel yesterday. Apparently they love the stuff. It doesn't look like they're doing too much damage (yet?), and I'm only really interested in the below-ground portions of it, anyway. So I guess they're my new pets.
Now I want to plant all kinds of host plants for these critters. Which means I'll be planting pawpaws in the fall, not just because I've been dreaming about pawpaw ice cream, but also because it's the host for zebra swallowtail larvae. I mean, just look at him. What a handsome devil!
Hopefully, I'll get some shots of Jeff, Debra, Bob, Stripes, Nacho and Lucy when they do their butterfly thing (and maybe I'll be eating a nice fennel slaw by then, too).Update: Here's a slideshow of Jeff's caterpillar week: