Project – Caterpillar Update

I’m posting an update on the caterpillars I saved from the hard freeze. The beginning of their story and first update can be found at the links below:
The Big Save
One Week Update

I was surprised when the smaller and weaker of the two caterpillars was the first to complete his metamorphosis into a chrysalis. He didn’t attach himself to any of the twigs or plants, but instead transformed on the soil. Today I noticed the larger caterpillar, who has been very still for days, had spun a web and seems to be beginning his metamorphosis too.

Can you see the thin thread of web anchoring the caterpillar in place? I’m leaving a place holder below for a photo of the second chrysalis, probably complete by tomorrow morning. Check back for the posted photo.

I removed the photo place holder I originally posted. The caterpillar is very still, yet has not formed a chrysalis. As the days pass I am losing hope that he will begin metamorphosis. Something seems to have gone awry.


Plants – Dill/Part I


Dill, a type of herb, has thrived in my garden this year. The slender leaves can be harvested at any time and used fresh, or dried for later. Swallowtail butterflies use dill as a host plant for their eggs. I often find caterpillars dining on my dill. I never pick them off as I plant more than enough dill for both the caterpillars and myself. A little dill goes a long way; the herb is very pungent.


After flowering, the dill will form seed. Allow the seeds to dry, but keep a close watch, and when they easily pull away from their slender stems it is time to cut and harvest. I prefer to do this indoors over a plate to gather every seed.


Allow the seed to sit in the open air for a few days to completely dry out. Save a little to plant next year, and store the rest in a jar for culinary uses.


As with so many herbs, dill is a powerhouse food for your health. According to George Mateljan Foundation: Dill is one of nature’s healthiest foods.

Dill florets are a stunning addition to pressed flower arrangements. Press between books and in a week or so they will be ready to use for crafting. The flowers are delicate and add an ethereal air to pressed flower compositions

Cucumbers and dill are perfect together. I’ve included a very basic salad I make throughout the summer. Enjoy!

DILLED CUKES (can be halved)

4 medium cucumbers
3/4 C. white vinegar (I’ve used apple cider vinegar in a pinch, works fine)
1/4 C. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Dill leaves (less if using dried)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I sometimes leave this out)
1 1/2 C. water

Cut cucumbers in chunks, or slice in medallions, or cut lengthwise and slice in half moon shapes. In a bowl combine cucumbers with all the ingredients and stir gently. Cover the bowl, refrigerate for 4-6 hours. If possible, give the salad a gentle stir a few times. Drain before serving.

Pleasures – The Stowaway


Now usually this little guy on a geranium blossom would cause me to inspect the whole plant for any of his brother and sister cabbage worms. But…this guy somehow survived very cold temperatures and stowed-away on my plant when I brought it indoors. So instead of this post being categorized as problem-solving, it is titled “Pleasures.”


It gave me quite a chuckle when I began watering my geranium and caught sight of the small caterpillar. I will let him live out his lifespan on the geranium. Maybe he will spin a cocoon and overwinter, or maybe even hatch in the house. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had a butterfly or moth flying in the house, taking us by surprise.


He hasn’t done much damage at all, just a few small holes and some missing geranium florets. Happy feasting little bug! 🙂