A very quick one here. Lovely Sister is here and we are gadding and nattering quite a bit, and I am not much to be found on-line, my apologies. However, one or two things beg a quick posting, for example these swallowtail caterpillars:
We've not had any of these for a few years, and I've not noticed any of the butterflies for a while, but the odd thing is we found them on the Mexican orange bushes. Swallowtails usual like umbelliferous, carrot family type things like, well, carrots, and fennel, and parsley. A broad-leaved shiny evergreen type shrub seems completely unsuitable. When I found the first one, I assumed it had fallen upon it by accident, and moved it to the parsley (I am quite happy to have my parsley crop completely consumed if necessary in the cause of the proliferation of swallowtails).
Then we noticed another on the other Mexican orange, and clearly it did seem to be eating it, so one can only assume that mother swallowtail knew best and it does constitute an acceptable food crop for them.
I wondered if caterpillars had to continue eating the things they start by eating, and if I should move the displaced one back, but on inspection it looked as if it had started eating the parsley, so I will keep an eye on them both and see how they get on. Experiments in previous years seemed to indicate that they thrived better on carrot tops than parsley, but we shall see.