I have pots near the back porch steps filled with flowers, herbs, strawberries and cherry tomatoes. This spot gets just the right amount of sun for the plants to thrive, and for Scooter to sunbathe.
Every springtime I plant dill and fennel, which are herbs that I like to use in cooking. But, I only harvest them early in the season. This time of year they are dedicated to welcome visitors. The fennel is host to a half-dozen caterpillars.
Here is one this morning. The evening rainstorm did nothing to dampen its appetite.
Soon it will turn into a chrysalis and then transform into a black swallowtail butterfly.
Other voracious caterpillars are not as welcome. I found 11 tomato hornworms on my one cherry tomato plant. I don’t know how they manage to grow 3-inches long and fat as index fingers without me seeing them. It’s not until the plant is decimated that I spot them. They’ve been plucked and tossed to the chickens. Only the bravest of the hens are willing to tackle such things.