Welcome back, fellas
The caterpillars are back, and I am very happy to see them!
Not tent caterpillars, but the pretty green-striped ones that will one day be butterflies. About a half a dozen of them.
Kathy Kadow at the Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills tells me that they will be black swallowtails when they grow up because their mother chose to lay her eggs on what they can eat - my parsley.
If I had found caterpillars on milkweed, they would have been monarchs. Though they look almost identical, Kadow says, you can tell them apart by the host plant.
Swallowtails also like dill and carrot tops, but birds like caterpillars so I am hoping my visitors survive.
And you thought you planted your herb garden for YOU.
Photo credit: Baltimore Sun/Susan Reimer
(Continue reading for information on Irvine's butterfly classes.)
Irvine Institute for Environmental Education will present three sessions of BUTTERFLIES IN THE GARDEN, including one tonight. Registration is open until 5 p.m. by calling 443-738-9224.
Learn which plants are good for attracting both adult butterflies and young caterpillars, how to identify the common species, and what you can do to help.
You will also learn how to tag Monarch butterflies before they migrate to Mexico this fall.
Instructor: Robert Mardiney, Director of Education, Irvine Nature Center Fee: $60 members, $70 non-members.
Dates/Times: Wednesday, July 28, 6:30 -8:30 p.m., Saturdays, July 31 and August 7; 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.