A butterfly count?
Photo credit: Baltimore Sun/Jerry Jackson
The count birds, don't they?
I think they should start counting butterflies, too.
My unscientific observation is that there are many more this year than ever before, and other gardeners seem to agree.
That's particularly true of Tiger Swallowtails, which are also making a comeback in England where they have been rare for decades.
The experts say that fluctuations in populations like this are normal.
But it is also possible that this has been a bad year for the parasites and viruses that kill Swallowtails because of the cold and snow of last winter.
And it is also possible that the large numbers we are seeing are the normal August peak in the butterfly population and its activity.
I can testify to that. I have more than a dozen Swallowtail caterpillars on the parsley plants on my deck.
This is the second round of baby butterflies on my parsley. I am pretty sure the others disappeared because they were dinner for the birds.
So this time, I have hidden the parsley and the caterpillars from the sharp eyes of the birds with a gentle layer of newspaper. We will see how it goes.