My partner has pets.
You see, she's in the process of churning out a doctoral dissertation (brilliant and meaningful actually, but not the subject here) and sometimes she gets restless.
When she gets restless, she gardens. Several weeks ago, out among the invasive fennel, she noticed what looked to me like ugly black smudges on the stems.
"No, they are caterpillars," she said. "They are going to be butterflies." Pretty soon we had a terrarium in the kitchen.
"You'll see," she insisted. And I am seeing.
The smudge grew a lot of legs almost overnight.
A week later, the black worm was almost entirely green.
And it got bigger really fast.
It's really chowing down on that fennel.
After about 3 weeks, these well fed critters are attaching themselves to sticks. The one on the left is already a chrysalis. The one on the right is still looking for the right spot.
According to this excellent website, if it stays sunny, we'll have swallowtail butterflies around here in a couple of weeks.
All photos courtesy of the pet keeper.