Foul weather and fair

Tomb of the Unknown Bunny where all little lost
souls are laid to rest.

Yesterday was tense around the Villa.  The news was full of warnings of a massive storm front, what they call a “derecho” which I think will probably be the next meteorological buzzword, coming straight for Chicago.  It sounded a lot like the storm we had last May when there was a lot of hail that killed a baby bunny in our garden.  I texted Glinda and said that while I didn’t relish the notion of the garden getting bashed to crap again, I emphatically did not want to bury anything else. Not that there was much either of us could do about it.

Most of the day was nice enough, a bit overcast, but nothing really threatening until late in the afternoon when the sky turned very dark.  I expected the wind to pick up and closed the back windows which open out and are like sails in a high wind.  Glinda left work early, that is to say at the normal time since she’s been working overtime for weeks now, and got home just before it began to rain.  We really were expecting the worst, and pulled out the cat carriers in case we had to take them down to the basement.  I do get that tornadoes are dangerous, but I honestly hate sheltering down there, especially when there is a flash flood watch.  I’d hate to be stuck down there with rising water and  the power still on.

It didn’t come to that, thank goodness.  We had dinner and watched Fringe, and the storm seemed like a big wash-out.  Much as I love storms, I’m just as glad that we dodged the bullet this time.

Today dawned bright and beautiful with substantially cooler temperatures.  Nothing seemed to have been harmed by the rain which was heavy at times.  Yesterday I discovered that our dill is loaded with caterpillars and spent some time trying to identify them, but none of the pics I saw came close to what I was seeing out there.  However when I went out today (I had a centipede who needed evicting.) they’d already grown so much that I was able to figure out that they’re Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

Apparently they’re big fans of dill, parsley and some other things we have out in the garden.  I’m thrilled and don’t begrudge them a single bite.  To quote the article I’ve linked to above:
“Swallowtail caterpillars are beneficial insects; however, if you are a parsley farmer, you may have a different opinion!  Caterpillars forage heavily on their host plants, but they also serve as a food source for songbirds and other wildlife.  After their metamorphosis into butterflies, they become pollinators, which is important because one-third of the world’s cultivated crops depend upon the work of pollinators like butterfly and bees.  In addition, butterflies are beneficial to humans for their aesthetic qualities.  Many species are brightly colored and so capture the attention and marvel of many people.  Just watching the whimsical flight of butterflies is enough to lift the spirits!”

I’ve seen the swallowtails in the garden but for whatever reason I never imagined them laying their eggs with us.  I’m so pleased that the local wildlife is finding our garden a welcoming place.  This makes me more determined than ever to start building shelters for the beneficial critters.  I’ve been collecting a lot of ideas over on my Gardens: Critter Comforts Pinterest board.  If you know of any others, please leave the URLs in the comments section.


2 thoughts on “Foul weather and fair

  1. I knew this storm was going to be a bust. There was too much hype in the press. When there is too much hype it never comes off.

    Its the storms they don't warn you about are the ones that get ya. 😉


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