Curly, Moe & Larry


Earlier in the Spring, my favorite landlord put in two window boxes and said, “Have at it!” He keeps white petunias in his on the other side of the house, because they like it dry and he doesn’t like to water. Smart fellow.

Yay! I found dahlias, my mother’s favorite blossom, added parsley, basil and lobelia to start. Ok, I may have gone overboard, but there is such a limit to a box. The photo does not show the box with parsley nor the sunflower that I planted to grow straight up the middle of the box later in the summer.

I was watering the other morning when I discovered big green, yellow-striped caterpillars. I texted a photo to a friend in MN, known for doggedly collecting monarch larvae.

This is Curly, like the parsley.

She replied, “Swallowtails love parsley.”

I scooped up the three colorful cords and dropped them into a jar with parsley. Amazingly, later that day the jar was nearly empty, except for frass rolling around on the bottom. (Frass is butterfly poop.)

Parsley, larva and frass.

In previous summers, with kids at home, we often harvested and watched larvae turn into butterflies. Why not now?

There is a hope in nature I treasure. It satisfies a wonder in me. It never fails to thrill.

Now, that I have pets, they need names. What threesome makes us chuckle? Yep. Curly, Moe and Larry have moved in.

By Catstrav

Reindeer handler. NDT tech. Mother of four. Aspiring astronaut.


  1. My favorite! Some additional food that your pets will like are fennel and Queen Anne’s Lace. Keep the chrysalis out of direct sunlight. Lots of work ahead but watching the butterfly emerge far outweighs the effort!

  2. I have now put a vase of dill and Queen Anne’s lace under a laundry hamper and Larry crawled up to near the top and appears to be changing. It seems quick.

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