Saturday, 5 June 2010

Fennel Goldmine !

Well .. this morning it was simply amazing .. here I thought I had one little butterfly in the making .. then we started to take a closer look and HOLY SMOKES !!
We counted only what we could see without disturbing the little guests and came up with 9 !
THEN .. we saw that "one of these kinds is NOT like the others" he looks very much like my "Curly Joe" that disappeared a few years ago after such excitement of having him/her ?
So .. certain elements came together this time ..
# 1 I saw more butterflies this Spring than any year here (over 10 years folks)
# 2 Fennel in a mixed pot with dwarf dill ? combination perfect ??
I don't care because I am so happy ... well ... I do the happy dance every time I see them : )


Lisa at Greenbow said...

It looks like a Black Swallowtail party to me.

Unknown said...

Wonderful! Aren't they so cute? :-)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Lisa girl the one to the top left looks different to me you see what I mean and what it could be ?

Freda I was so darn SHOCKED to see so many of these little guys .. it was wonderful : )

Gail said...

Fantastic~those little instars are beautiful! gail

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

lots of caterpillars ... black swallowtails do love fennel ... some look different because they are at different stages of development

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are gonna have lots more butterflies! Good to know that fennel does well in pots, I have been wanting to try that.

Have you added more sidebar shots? I just scrolled down them, and my, what a lot of nice photos.

ferne said...

I plant fennel every year just for this when the swallow tails come to visit and grace us with their beauty.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Joy on the soon to be beautiful butterflies! I haven't seen any this season, of course I've been hibernating indoors alot this month. ;)

Unknown said...

I think it's a black swallowtail butterfly, because there are colour differences in adult males and females of this species, and also some variation in caterpillar colours. There's a pretty good website at with some amazing photographs.

Anonymous said...

By that title, I wasn't sure what you were talking about Joy but this is perfect. I love the little buggers. I hope you'll post photos of the progression. Are they, as Lisa says, the black swallowtail?

Only the yellow ones are seen in these parts so this will be an education for me.

My fingers are crossed for an uninterrupted and safe journey through metamorphosis.

Christine said...

Swallowtails! I'm so happy for you, Joy. I always have fennel growing in different spots in my yard, hoping for some caterpillars. From time to time I see Swallowtails, but I don't believe they're from my garden. But I keep hoping!

CiNdEe said...

Holy Cow that is a major butterfly party! I bet you are jumping with "JOY" (-:

RURAL magazine said...

I get so excited when we Canadians get to see any wildlife, even a caterpillar in the suburbs. Seems this kind of stuff only happens in the country. Well obviously not.

Can't wait to see the end result.


CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Gail girl and YES ! I am floored with how many we have seen in this pot ! simply amazing !! : )

Linda the "mom" must have done it while she was sure we weren't looking ? LOL I didn't see any near the pot .. then again .. I am working in the garden or cooling down in the house ? ;-)

Sandy girl the irony was that I was actually going to take the fennel out and plant it in the garden ;-) but when I saw this had happened replanting was out of the question to make sure the babies had all the time they needed to develop and fly away as gorgeous creatures : )
Yes ! I have been adding to change it up a bit .. I have a back log of pictures that is overwhelming .. eeekkkk !!! hahaha

Hello ferne .. I have done that for years as well .. I love fennel and dill and most herbs but I have never had such luck as this to have so many of them : ) it is wonderful !

Racquel girl .. I don't blame you for taking refuge indoors girl .. it has been a very odd Spring .. too hot too soon and the plants leaped forward too much .. it has driven me crazy ? LOL

Jodi girl ! Hellloooo there ;-)
Thank you for the website I am going there and I will add it to the sidebar too ! : )

Grace girl .. a couple of years ago I had just one ..and I became attached to him .. his ? name was Curly Joe due to the curly parsley he was on .. he just disappeared without saying good by one day and my feelings were hurt !!
So I hope these "kids" will let me watch the progress they make and I can take pictures along the way .. I have to go see that site Jodie mentioned and figure these guys out ? KIDS !! hahaha

Helloooooo Christine girl : ) I have planted herbs along the garden but had not ever seen the progress of the caterpillars if they were there .. but this situation will be a lot easier unless they leave home without out a good bye again ? LOL
I'll try to keep the pictures coming : )

Cindee girl I was SO SHOCKED when we started spotting how many that were in the plants .. funny they stuck to the fennel because the dwarf dill is right beside it all ;-) .. yes .. happy dance happened for sure !

Jen girl .. I am like a big kid when I see things like this and in my own garden or deck it is amazing !!!! I think gardeners appreciate life so much , no matter the form we absolutely love it : )

Carrie said...

Hurrah!!! I'd LOVE to see 'the happy dance' as performed by the lovely Joy....a video blogette perhaps ;)

Pat said...

I can see why you're so happy.
Never see the little buggers here...wish I did.
I'm guessing the fennel helped.

Vetsy said...

Hello joy... Thanks for posting those pictures they are very educational.

I don't think I have ever seen Swallowtail caterpillars, If I have I didn't recognized what I saw.

"What fun you are about to have in your lovely garden..Good for you!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Carrie girl (no one should really be exposed to my happy dance .. hehehe) it is just so wonderful to see this happening .. we have never gotten to the chrysalis?stage .. see I probably didn't spell that right it is so foreign to me ? Fingers crossed I can take pictures of the whole event !!

Patsi girl you have to plant some fennel ! Not only because it attracts these little miracles but it smells wonderful .. looks awesome as a foliage plant .. all round beauty .. and dill too ! .. hey .. Nurse Jackie finale for me to see today , it is going to be a hot one .. plus True Blood is coming back in a few days !!

Vetsy : ) I have more pictures coming because these little ones are getting bigger each day with eating the fennel .. it is amazing to see and I am so happy to see it right here on the deck .. chances are they would be eaten by the many birds we have in the garden here !

Rose said...

Congratulations on the butterflies in the making, Joy! I was late planting my fennel, so you are way ahead of me, but aren't these fun? I think these are all black swallowtail caterpillars, but they are in different stages. The little black ones are in the first instar, and the one on top is a later instar. Now aren't you surprised I sound like I know what I'm talking about?:) I only know this because I had the same little guys last year crawling all over my fennel, and someone i.d.ed them for me.

*~* Linda *~* said...

i'm no expert, but i think that the one "that's not like the others" is a monarch. If i recall, the yellow and black striped ones are monarches.

That's so cool to have so many living among you though!

Kimberly said...

Good for you! You're going to have the most beautiful butterflies!!! Exciting!

VW said...

So now you're going to have to show us photos of the butterflies in a few weeks! What a great buffet you've laid out for them.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Rose girl , I know you KNOW what you are talking about : ) It has shocked us to see so many on this pot .. it has two fennel and two dwarf dill in it .. and I was just about to take the fennel out to plant in the garden when I noticed all these "kids" in there !!
I am so excited to see them and hope to see all the rest of the stages too .. this has been a wonderful year for butterflies coming back .. thank goodness !

Linda .. honest to god I have tried to finish an e-mail for you for days now .. I have been stretched with working in the garden to uploading and editing pictures and not posting because by then I am so darn tired I drag myself to bed ? haha
Hey .. I will send picture of an amazing sky this morning when I upload yet again ! LOL

Kimberly I am so happy to see these little wonders : ) I can't wait to see them complete the process !

VW girl I will drive everyone crazy with pictures if nature cooperates with the camera and I ? LOL .. Hey those wedding pictures were gorgeous girl ! It must have been a wonderful day for your family : )