Look what I found on my parsley plants :-D. These are the caterpillars of Black Swallowtail Butterfly, a really gorgeous butterfly that is found in all over the North America. It is apparently the state butterfly of New Jersey. It constantly flies around in my garden but I never get the chance to take a picture as they are too restless a butterfly; all the time flittering around. A picture of the butterfly is in the top part of my blog -- it's that black butterfly with beautiful designs on its wings. It's the fifth picture in the series, right next to the tomato-cucumber picture.
This is called the first instar of the Swallowtail catterpillar. This apparently looks like bird-poop and thus the birds leave them alone
From the first instar, they become these chubby neon-green caterpillars with black lines and orange-spots
When the caterpillar is disturbed, it protrudes out these orange V-shaped Ostemetrium. It's some kind of protection tools for the caterpillar. When feel threatened the ostemetrium puts out some kind of offensive odor. I tickled it, and it put out the ostemetrium. I didn't get any odor. I guess the predators find the smell offensive.
After these photo-shoots, I went out to the garden. I'm growing lots of hot pepper this year along with some sweet and milder ones. So, this is a small harvest of various types of pepper, lemon-cucumber (a very prolific plant), ground-cherries, beans and some greens:
This is Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper. It is apparently one of the hottest pepper on earth; it is 400 times hotter than the hottest Tabasco sauce. And, I'm growing this :-) because I'm crazy :-P
Small bees and wasps on sunflower. Do you know that the size of a sunflower is related to the size of space it gets to grow? I didn't know that. Being a lover of sunflower, I started growing them in every possible space I could find, and found out this truth: given bigger space, the sunflower will have the optimal bloom size. But, if it gets smaller space, the blooms become smaller.
Honey-bee and aphids (the yellow ones) on Swamp Milkweed.
Do you think bees sleep? Or they become too heavy to fly after a good dinner? Now and then, I find bees clinging still (as if they are sleeping) on flowers; they will remain like that throughout the night and will fly away the next morning.
Bumble-bee sipping nectar from flowers.