Sunday, September 11, 2011

An August Diversion

My water bill was $167. I almost fell over. But yanno, I said all summer that I didn't care what it cost, I was GOING to keep my trees and my gardens alive. I did it. It was brutal; I think Wichita set a record for the number of consecutive days over 100. At least once we hit 114 with a heat index at 122. I put a thermometer on my shady front porch and day after day after day I came home from work to see it registering at 110. I was sick from the heat constantly, our air conditioner ran constantly, my plants wilted constantly, my hose ran 24 hours a day sometimes. The plants on my front porch couldn't take it and started dying back.

And then one day I noticed I had parsley sprouting in the jog-out of the main garden. This tickled me, since I had broadcast an enormous number of herb seeds there and only gotten tree seedlings (ailanthus, thou art NOT my friend!). So I was looking forward to a long autumn full of parsleyish goodness.

And then, yanno, I saw something.... something intriguing... something busily decimating my parsleyish goodness. Oh what can I say? I can go buy parsley at the grocery store, yanno? But a swallowtail butterfly, well, it has to eat what's there.

So it did, ate both plants down to the nubbins, but I just couldn't bring myself to mind.

Isn't it gorgeous? Black Swallowtail butterflies are not as colorful as the caterpillars. They are actually black, with yellow or orange spots along the edges of their wings. The females also have blue iridescent spots on their hind wings. This link has pictures.

The parsley, btw, is growing again.

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