Dill is one of my favorite herbs. When a friend of mine saw this caterpillar munching on it, he was surprised I didn’t have a problem with it. Why? Because that little guy or girl (sorry, it didn’t tell me how s/he identifies) will eventually become an absolutely beautiful black swallowtail butterfly!
And better yet, it will be a pollinator! Which is something I need in my garden, since there aren’t many bees these days.
This one is far from alone. At last count, I saw about 9 of them on that same plant. I’ll pick some dill and put it in the freezer for now, then plant more after these hungry caterpillars metamorphose to their final winged stage.
I must admit, I was not as compassionate toward the harlequin beetles devastating my broccoli, pretty though they may be. But they were not going to give anything back, either!
It’s all about reciprocity.
I’m really impressed with the Native American philosophy that we should give something back for every thing we consume. In Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, “Braiding Sweetgrass,” she points that out in great detail over many chapters. She mentions how Native Americans would only harvest half of what they found in the wild, leaving some to continue to grow and provide, while also leaving an offering.
Gratitude has been identified as the emotion most closely linked to happiness. Is that what’s wrong with unhappy people today, not appreciating what they have? Never being satisfied, always obsessing on wanting more?
I’m grateful for the butterfly pupae who will grow up to assure my squash, tomatoes, melons, and other veggies bear as they’re supposed to. Sacrificing a little dill seems a small price to pay.