Grit Blogs > News From The Nest In Rural Pennsylvania

Of Parsley and Caterpillars


Cross MothIt’s almost 6:30 in the morning. My husband is getting ready to leave for work. I am stylin' in a tee-shirt and a comfy pair of shorts. You know, the kind that you would be perfectly happy to live in and never have to change. I slide on my brown furry lined clogs that look especially good with my current outfit, and head out to feed the chickens and ducks who are becoming very vocal and demanding about their hunger pangs! I go down the steps, looking at the containers of growing things I have setting all over my porch and steps. I notice something has been munching at my parsley, and make a mental note to check it when I’m finished feeding the animals.

I’m now finished with the animals and back in the house. Apparently, that mental note was not written in bold print! I’m thinking about taking the camera out on the porch. There are some really cool looking moths sitting on the siding that I would like to get some pictures of.

Eastern Black Swallowtail CaterpillarOut I go with the camera, snapping away, when I remember the parsley. As I pick up the pot for closer inspection, I see the parsley eating culprits. Now, most people would be upset that their parsley was being eaten up, but I am thrilled! The parsley bandits turn out to be Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars.

After taking lots of photos, I set the pot back in its place, caterpillars and all. I’m hoping when they cocoon, I can get more photos, and maybe I can even see them emerge from those cocoons! Yea, Yea, I know what an exciting life! Watching caterpillars! But to someone such as I, the nature-loving photographer, this is an exciting prospect!

 Lori Dunn is a freelance photographer specializing in rural subjects and nature. Contact her at