Saturday, July 4, 2009

Caterpillars in the Garden!

I can't believe it's already mid summer!
Where is 2009 going!?

Upon my return from Alaska, I see all the gardens and landscapes in the area are in full bloom! It makes me miss gardening a little bit.

Particularly I miss all the bugs. Part of why I loved gardening so much was seeing the many butterflies, moths, caterpillars, bees, beetles, millipedes, potato bugs....
(At least I am volunteering some time at the Hershey Butterfly House this summer so I will get my fix!)

This bug here is a Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar that I painted a few years ago. The original painting is 20" wide by 16" tall. Looking at the painting of him always makes me happy because it's so bright and SO much larger than life!
The original painting is currently framed and hanging (for sale) at Gallerie 13 in Mechanicsburg, PA. I've also got prints of him available in my Etsy shop.

Here is one of the reference shots I snapped in my garden which inspired him:

He's chomping on some dill that's going to seed. Dill is one of the host plants for Swallowtail butterflies- meaning that it's a plant they want to lay their eggs on because the caterpillars eat dill. When the eggs hatch there is an instant food supply ready and available! Apparently these guys also REALLY like parsely, so if you want butterflies in your garden but you also enjoy raising parsley, I suggest you plant a lot of extra to share with these guys! :)

1 comment:

Doris Sturm said...

I like this praying manthis better than your other one...the picture is softer and more refined, in my humble opinion.

I bet you're having fun at the Hershey Butterfly House...too bad Callaway Gardens is so far away or else I'd go there to volunteer. They have a great butterfly exhibit too.