Among gardeners, it is common practice to change environments and create the conditions required for a particular plant. Want blueberries? Acidify your soil, because the mid-Ohio clay is not going to work for those acid-loving plants.
It is also possible, within reason, to accomplish the same thing with butterfly gardening. As I add host plants to my yard, I am creating habitat, where none existed previously. It may be pushing the envelope for some, but I just have to have big excitement in my life!
|Pipevine Swallowtail, denizen of the south|
|Dorsal view of Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philnenor|
|Pipevine swallowtail caterpillar|
|The the flower is a 1 inch pipe!|
You might say I am practicing a little assistance for vegetation to keep up with the warming climate. If it includes Pipevine Swallowtails free-flying in my yard, it works for me.
|has become a chysallis.|
|The Pipevine caterpillar...|
The caterpillar has fed on pipevine leaves for the last couple of weeks. Next, he makes a run for it. Many caterpillars travel away from their host plants before they go into their chrysalis, but these caterpillars were marathon racers! It was nearly impossible to keep track of them as they wandered about.
Finally, the caterpillar settled in and spun a cord to hold his body in place. It will be a long winter and we won't see this guy again until next year (hint: he'll look quite different!) This caterpillar's chrysalis was multi-colored ranging from brown to gray and spatter with orange. One of his brother caterpillars has a lime green chrysalis, the better to blend in with the vegetation surrounding his chosen wintering location.
THE LIVING LANDSCAPE
Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden is now availableBy Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy