While down on the potager preparing a new bed for the championship pumpkins we are planning to grow, I discovered some self seeded bulb fennel among the weeds. Carefully removing the weeds from around these plants, I noticed a highly colourful caterpillar.
After grabbing the camera and taking a close-up I carried on weeding and eventually got the pumpkin plants in place. We have handed out a number of seeds or plants to neighbours here, for them to raise their own pumpkins. In the autumn we will host a pumpkin festival with curries, cakes, soup and beer all made from these orange jewels. There will be a prize and trophy for the largest pumpkin raised so – Let the games begin!
The following morning I downloaded the photos. On showing Adrian the photo he remarked that it looked like an Alice In Wonderland caterpillar.
I looked up the caterpillar in our highly thumbed insect book. ”Larvae on wild carrot, fennel, and other umbellifers” - Bingo – Common Swallowtail butterfly.
There is nothing common about this startling little bug and the adult is also quite striking.