It’s been one weekend after another, where we are treated to the lovely sight at least ten different butterflies of at least five different species in the garden. The butterflies are so used to human presence that we can be within half metre, and they remain as they are and do not fly away.
Neighbour Steven is really excited because we received more butterfly host plants from fellow butterfly enthusiasts. What are butterfly host plants? These are plants where the butterflies would lay their eggs, usually on the bottom of leaves so that they are protected from predators. In 10 to 14 days, tiny larvae emerge and begin eating the plant. It can be really fascinating to watch the little caterpillars (or “cats”) grow, as they eat the leaves and grow, and finally when they start to pupate and start their transformation into a butterfly.
While we started this community garden as a edible garden, with neighbour Steven’s butterfly knowledge, we are not worried that the same butterflies would start laying eggs on our edible plants, and eat them before we do! This is because the butterflies do have their specific host plants, i.e. to say, they don’t just go to any random plant. That also does means that once the caterpillars start munching, the leaves of our butterfly host plants will start disappearing, but it’s OK. They will recover.
Anyway, here’s photos of the “cats”: