Joe’s New Pet

“Mom, look at this caterpillar!”

I ambled over to the dill forest where Joe was crouched holding a bunch of freshly harvested broccoli. He was staring at a black, white and yellow striped caterpillar that was munching on some dill.

Since we had such a surplus of the fragrant herb, I didn’t immediately want to feed the visitor to the chickens. It might be beneficial to some other garden plant.

Joe decided that we should to capture it.

“Mommy, let’s find out what it is!”


Joe pulled off the dill branch the critter was resting on and placed it in his jungle gym bug house. He also grabbed a few extra pieces of dill and grass, “in case it gets hungry later”.

Once we were inside, we studied it more closely.


“Look! It’s her baby!” Joe was holding a tiny black caterpillar with a small white stripe.

“Where did you find it?”

“On her back!”

I didn’t really think that was where he found it until looked it up…sure enough, we’d captured a mamma swallowtail and her baby.


We spent a few minutes researching what else they ate while Joe munched on the broccoli. I asked him what he thought we should feed it and he started to peel off some broccoli leaves.

“Let’s try this.”

So we put broccoli leaves and some grass. We went back out to the garden to pull more dill, some parsley and some lovage.

“Look! She’s eating it!” Joe squealed in delight.


He may be terrified of bee mosquitos and leary of may flies and bees, but he’s still my little bug hunter.

Little bug hunter
I love your joy and surprise
At finding new bugs

One response to “Joe’s New Pet

  1. Pingback: Double Whammy | a pinch of homestead

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s