Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monarch Poop, Free Swallowtail Larva, and Other Garden Insect Photos

As five large monarch larvae get close to pupating, they've produced copious amounts of feces.

And, how does one get free black swallowtail larvae (below)? Why, one meanders through a local nursery and finds one last bronze fennel, on sale, with a single caterpillar on it. He (or she, or it) then picks off other larvae from nearby parsley and puts them on the fennel until he (or she, or it) has four caterpillars. This, in conjunction with a $6 Queen of the Prairie and Boltonia--plus two shirts for under $10 at Kohls--makes it a good day, indeed, while the wife is away in Vegas dancing with strippers and taking out a fifth mortgage to play keno.

The below garden shots I took while, for a whole hour last night, looking for a chrysallis or ten in my 2500 square feet of gardens and found none. One photo is the molted skin of a locust / grasshopper. Freaky cool, like the zit on my back I can't reach. (You may wonder if I share such facts as the above while teaching--I respond by asking if you know of any better way to keep students awake in the middle of a writing / lit lecture.)


Gail said...

Caterpillar poop, unreachable zits, molten skin of a grasshopper...of course we would be awake! The photo of the cobalt blue mayflyordragonfly is wonderful!

Annie in Austin said...

Did the nursery charge you extra for four caterpillars? Wasn't it one to a customer?

I loved this post, Benjamin!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Unknown said...

Great post... but I'm green with envy now. Not about the backne, but about the caterpillars! Why are they hanging out on a bronze fennel plant at your nursery when they won't come to the whole big stand of fennel I have waiting for them in my yard? *pouts*

Keno, huh? The only thing worse than that is male strippers... but that's just me. lol.

Unknown said...

So busy pouting that I forgot to say: That dried locust/grasshopper skin is amazingly beautiful!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Gail--Who need coffee, huh? Just stop by here every morning. YUCK.
Annie--Ha, no, the cashier and I briefly talked about our monarch larva at home though. I couldn't beleive how many swallowtails were on the parsley at the nursery....
Kim--...which makes me feel quite bad for poor Kim. Maybe Cleveland is just too far north this year? Next year. I'm amazed I have any caterpillars at all. And as for my wife, no worries, she is neither at a strip club nor playing keno--not that kind of girl, thank goodness.

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