Life in the Herb Garden

Yesterday I discovered a couple of chubby caterpillars living in our parsley plants. I checked some of my books and online and I am fairly certain they are Black Swallowtails. A few weeks ago my husband had seen one in the yard, so it must have been laying eggs in our herb garden. Apparently the larvae and caterpillars prefer to feed off of plants in the dill and parsley family.

 caterpillar 2

While I was searching online, I came across this blog post about keeping caterpillars in a container so that you can watch them as they change into butterflies. I hemmed and hawed about it for awhile (unsure of how I felt about interfering with nature) and finally decided to try it. It seems fairly simple and fool-proof, provided they have enough to eat.

So I got a breathable plastic container, furnished it with some branches and filled it with herbs.


I was laughing at myself the entire time.

Twig Trellis

I felt like a six-year-old, building a little habitat for bugs. 

Nom nom nom

They seem to like it, though. They love to eat.  And poop. That’s about it.


So now it’s just a waiting game.


If you are interested in knowing more about this, all of the life stages are described on this website.


  1. Cait,

    It's Emily! I love the caterpillars! I think the photo possibilities are incredible and they look so so so cute!

  2. Wow!! This is awesome, and I am jealous of your new friends! I have seen a few black swallowtails at my mother's house in the last week. I am not sure where they are coming from though. I am psyched to see your little guys hatch..is that the right word? lol.


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