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Future Butterflies

July 9th, 2011

Last week I was at my mom’s and she mentioned that she had some yellow swallowtail caterpillars on her fennel. I had seen a few tiny caterpillars on my dill, but they were too small to tell what they were yet. I’ve been keeping my eye on them, and sure enough – they’re going to become yellow swallowtails. These caterpillars are quite striking with their lined and bright colors. They’ve been munching away on a bronze fennel plant I have growing in my front flowerbed. It’s amazing how quickly they grow!


This is one reason to include a wide variety of plants in your gardens. Fennel seems to be attractive to a lot of insects, as does milkweed. My mom has been working on establishing a nice stand of milkweed for the last 15 years and last year she was finally rewarded with monarch caterpillars on hers.

Do you have any herbs or plants that seem to attract certain insects?

Peppermint for Beneficials

September 17th, 2010

The peppermint is blooming in my garden right now and the bees, butterflies and other pollinators are loving it. I’m so happy that it’s blooming at this time of the year when nectar and pollen are quite scarce. I love watching the peppermint patch as it’s abuzz with all types, sizes, and colors of pollinators.





I must divide these plants and add more clumps around the gardens. I know they can be invasive, but in my woodland gardens invasive things barely hold one against the saplings and wild flowers. I find myself trying to incorporate more and more plants that bloom and provide nectar or pollen throughout the season just to provide sources of food for these lovely little insects.

Do you have any plants blooming for the pollinators? Do you plant with them in mind?

The Flight of the Monarch

September 13th, 2010

Earlier this year Mr Chiots and I watched The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies. It’s a documentary about the migration of the monarchs. I’ve read about this incredible natural wonder before and always thought it would be neat to see. We have a few monarchs around here in the summer, I see them occasionally, but yellow swallowtails are our most prolific butterflies.

Last night about 7:30 Mr Chiots and I headed out to take Lucy on a walk and I looked up at the sky and noticed a few butterflies flying over. Then I noticed a few more. We kept watching and noticed they were monarchs and they were clustering high in the trees above Chiot’s Run. I couldn’t get any photos because they were high up in the trees and it was getting dark. It certainly was an amazing site to see them clustering up for warmth and to see so many of them flying over. We may try to get up early to see them leave, although we’re not sure when that may be. These monarch will most likely we overwintering in Florida to return next spring. Here’s some interesting info about monarch migration if you’re interested.

Do you have monarchs in your garden?

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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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