Wandering Through Moe's Wondering

I have always tended to wonder more than most people. I wonder why that is. Although fibromyalgia has limited my physical wonderings it has also given me a new perspective on the world. This has added to my mental wondering, when I’m not in a fibro fog This blog is a place for me to post my wondering thoughts. Maybe I will find others who also wonder about the same things. Maybe if keeping a log of my wonderings will help me figure things out. Join in my wandering through wonderings.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Papilio Polyxenes* Invasion *(Black Swallowtail)

My herb garden is both my pride and my pleasure.

One of the things I love doing is trying to get my annuals to last more than one year. Every year I take some plants inside to provide me with fresh herbs all winter. This is the forth year the descendents of a basil plant has grown in my garden and the third year the same parsley plant has grown. Because these are my favorites, each spring I always plant plenty more of these two herbs.

Imagine my dismay when, after growing so well for so long, the parsley plant, who had been my friend for three years, suddenly began to look terrible. Was it a disease? No, all of the other parsley plants looked fine. Still, every day more and more of the plant seemed to be gone. I looked all over it but could not find anything causing it. Finally, when there was nothing left but tiny little nubs, I saw the culprit. A caterpillar was devouring my plant. My first reaction was for revenge against the beast that was trying to kill my friend. But then I remembered a poem by Christina Rossetti, Hurt No Living Thing (see quote below).

I sighed and wondered what this thing was whose life I had almost taken.

I put it into a jar and went inside to Google it.

What I learned was this creature was not a beast at all. It would become one of those rare treasures we rarely see anymore, a butterfly. Not just any butterfly but a Black Swallowtail butterfly. This was one whose parents had braved insecticides and other predators to find their way to my garden, where they finally found one of the few plants which would feed their offspring, my tired old parsley plant. Passing life on to another. How wonderfully fitting for the old herb to celebrate the passing of its life.

Google also helped me find some wonderful sites to teach me how to care for my newfound friend. Every day I watch it devour the parsley leaves I provided for it from my other, newer plants. My hope is it will form a chrysalis (I learned a new word) and I will be able to watch it emerge and fly away. Maybe next year its offspring will find the next generation of parsley plants in my garden.

Here is an actual picture of the caterpillar. I know it is not very clear. It was taken through glass using a webcam.

This picture of the butterfly was borrowed from the web.

Today's Quote

Hurt No Living Thing
(by Christina Rossetti)

Hurt no living thing;
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless worms that creep.


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