Friday, September 2, 2011

My Garden Buddy

While out foraging in our garden, I noticed that something had been eating my parsley leaves.  Not the whole stem, just the leaf snipped off right where it joins the stem.

Admittedly my first reaction was one of continued exasperation and frustration.  I wouldn't say I'm the best gardener to begin with and this year seems to be especially challenging. Our Minnesota spring was cold and wet and that combined with a broken thumb made it difficult to get anything going in the garden.  Despite my spreadsheet and planning, our garden just didn't get planted in a timely manner.  Though now the entire garden has been fully planted and is now going crazy, there are still plants that aren't flourishing.  Sadly the crab grass, cottonwoods, and whole cast of unnamed weeds are growing much better than the beets, beans, and broccoli.

Full of ire, I looked into the parsley and saw this.

A big ol' caterpillar munching away.  Now, I'm not squeamish.  I think caterpillars are cool. So, I plucked that stem of parsley in order to look more closely at my new buddy.

I got really excited about it; my seconds earlier irritation forgetten.  I'd never seen such a brightly colored caterpillar.

It even does tricks.

Anyway, I posted some pictures of my new buddy to Facebook and a friend commented, "To see caterpillars is so rare anymore. Is it because we're not kids anymore or because they aren't as many of them?"

My first reaction is that we're not kids anymore. And we don't spend time outside exploring like we did as kids.  Mostly, as a kid, outside time was fun time.  Yes, maybe there was some yard work to help with, but in my world, outside time was free time.  Time to find adventures.  

As an adult though, I don't seem to find as many adventures outside.  The lawn needs mowing,  the garden needs weeding and watering, trees need trimming, and hedges need haircuts.  On an adventure it's important to keep your eyes open, your wits about you.  When doing mundane chores I think the tendency is to close off our senses in order to get through the day.

I have no idea whether there are fewer caterpillars than when we were kids.  I will say that my research led me to finding out my caterpillar should turn into a Black Swallowtail butterfly and they particularly like parsley.  So, I think part of finding caterpillars is having the right plants for the caterpillar.

Hopefully I'll see this

fluttering about my yard sometime soon.

And I challenge you to find an adventure in your next mundane task.  Who knows what you'll find.