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|Black swallowtail caterpillar, eating one leaf of fennel.|
|Black Swallowtail on Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)|
Butterflies look so slow and docile, gently flitting about the garden. Just get our your camera and try to catch them in their daily duties of sipping nectar out of flowers; you'll quickly see they are shy, move fast and don't like being photographed.
I doubt their eyesight is so great they can see me, but maybe they can. I guess if you're an inch tall and a looming giant, 500 times bigger than you are and carrying a menacing black box with a big moving eye-lens, you might run, too.
|Weak, tired and with much of her color worn down, she drank nectar for a day before laying eggs.|
Maybe they simply sense a person following them in the garden. After all, their senses must be impeccable, or else they couldn't travel great distances. This Monarch butterfly, above, on the white flowered chives, showed up just as the chives were blooming. As you know, Monarchs spend their winter in South America and manage to navigate northward as the weather warms in spring. This one was worn to a frazzle, weak, but sipping nectar in order to regain her strength for laying eggs for another generation of Monarchs.
|A Tiger Swallowtail, dishing up breakfast from dianthus in my edible flower garden.|
|The caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly on a fennel leaf.|
|The majestic Black Swallowtail, newly hatched.|
|An older Black Swallowtail, on oregano.|
|Monarch caterpillar, see how different they look from the Swallowtail caterpillar?|
|Fritillary butterflies on butterfly weed.|
So, if you see, "worms" in your herb plants, let them be, they turn into butterflies or moths and they're not going to ruin your plants. You'll be glad you left them alone when they turn into butterflies! And if you're going to photograph them, well, give yourself more time than you think you will need, they can run faster than you can.