Spicebush Swallowtail

First Appearance in Our Garden We have two types of Swallowtail butterfly in our garden every summer, the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and the Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes).  I raised a Black Swallowtail caterpillar in the house last year hoping to see it’s stages of transformation.  It became a butterfly in early winter which was too late to find food anywhere aside from what … Continue reading Spicebush Swallowtail


A Little Accomplishment We have always had Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in the garden.  It’s an official sign of summer when we see them in our garden.  They travel up from Mexico, their winter gathering place, every year.  It takes them two generations for their trip up north, but only one generation flying back. I’ve learned that their population is in decline since we humans … Continue reading Monarch

Lady Bug

The Little Ladies Proliferate This Year We have a lot of Lady Bugs (Coleoptera Coccinellidae) this year.  To be specific, they are Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles.  I counted over a dozen of them on one of the roses and some more on the other roses in the garden.  I also found egg sags and larvae under the leaves.  This is a good sign for the … Continue reading Lady Bug

Black Swallowtail unfurled

Finally metamorphosed Remember that little Black Swallowtail caterpillar I kept in the house since August?  The one that crawled from the living room dill plant up the curtain and turned into a chrysalis, suspended from our curtain for weeks?  I gave up on it after a few weeks.  I read somewhere that a chrysalis would take at most two weeks to turn to a butterfly. … Continue reading Black Swallowtail unfurled

Ambush Bugs

What a perfect name Ambush bugs (Family Phymatidae) with light green and brown camouflage wings and carapace wait patiently to ambush any insect that comes close enough.  You won’t notice it if you don’t really look for it; just blends that well with the surroundings like a soldier in camo’.  The bug’s front legs are similar to those of a Mantis, thick, muscular with claws at the … Continue reading Ambush Bugs

Ladybug Larvae

Bringing friends home I was at the local farmer’s market during my lunch time today, looking for some new additions to the garden.  You never know what you will find at this market.  I only buy plants I don’t already have in the garden.  Today, to my delight I found Chiltepin, a type of wild chili pepper.  There was no second thought about it.  It’s … Continue reading Ladybug Larvae

Up Close and Personal

Added Benefit of not using pesticides Gardening without pesticide has many benefits: the first and foremost is you don’t slowly commit suicide as a byproduct of trying to kill insects.  You develop a wide circle of helpers in the garden since there is plenty of fresh food to consume.  So far we count over 30 different types of birds aside from varieties of insect that … Continue reading Up Close and Personal