I had thought the caterpillar season was over.
As I was weeding the blue slope the other evening, I noticed tons of them on the spindly remains of my bronze fennel.
This is the caterpillar of the eastern black swallowtail butterfly, Papilio polyxenes. There must have been ten or so, ranging from fat ones like these to tiny ones perhaps three quarters of an inch long, on one plant alone.
With any luck, I will have a second chance to watch a chrysalis.
Chatham County Extension Agent Debbie Roos has noticed the same phenomenon in her nearby pollinator paradise garden. By the way, she has a terrific list of butterfly- and bee-friendly plants at this site.