0 replies
  1. webwawa
    webwawa says:

    That is a great article! great photos too! Ohhh the silk comes out of their chin? for some reason I always thought that the silk came out of their BUTT like a spider!

    I guess I’ve never seen video of them starting the cocoons. it makes sense since their little hands are up by the head and are different than the sucky feet.

    I don’t have any swallowtail caterpiddlers yet at my house.. probably towards May/June. I have about 7 Fennel plants of two types. Last year they all got killed by some landscaping guys my MOm hired and that was SO upsetting. I have so many wasps around – I’m sure I’ll end up taking the plants inside when the piddlers get big. When they start to metamorphise (sp?) they don’t weave a cocoon though, they turn stiff then their skin turns into a shell it seems that sort of goes into the shape of a folded up butterfly.

  2. admin
    admin says:

    Butterfly metamorphosis is so beautiful – I have passionflower butterflies every year, and enjoy watching them go through all their stages. Let me know if you want some passionflower vine – it spreads a lot easily.

  3. webwawa
    webwawa says:

    i spent about an hour on saturday cutting down prickly and crazy vines around my yard.. i have honeysuckle that grows like crazy.. i need more good vines so the bad ones wont take over..

    OH i just looked it up, my mom used to have passion flower. the flowers look so alien! I never saw caterpillars on them though.. and do they live thru the winter?

  4. admin
    admin says:

    There are some kinds that live through the winter really well – Passiflora caerulea does great, in either the blue or the white varieties. Passiflora incarnata is a native to this area – you can actually find them wild. Mine died out a couple of years ago, though. Several of the more fancy species and hybrids won’t overwinter here without special care or bringing them inside.

    Many of the species spread by underground runners, like mint – it can be kind of invasive, although it’s not as bad as honeysuckle or jessamine.

  5. loveisagypsy
    loveisagypsy says:

    WOW!! A published author 😉 I am impressed and I loved the blurb about you and Chris.

    On a totally unrelated note, I want some aripoge spiders. Any clue under the sun where I can buy them?

  6. admin
    admin says:

    I haven’t ever seen any place offering them for sale. I’ve had them, but always just found them in the yard, or out in the woods and collected them. They’re so BEAUTIFUL!

  7. mothie
    mothie says:

    He weaves, sews, knits, makes soap, spins,
    draws, dances, and cooks, in the belief that specialization is for insects.

    Now that’s the kewlest excuse I’ve heard in a long time. ;->

  8. admin
    admin says:

    From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    I just LOVE that. And all the more amusing, because I find myself semi-specializing in insects!

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I’ve had them all my life, but last summer and this yea they are nowhere to be found. I use no pesticides either so I can’t imagine where they could have run off to. Le sigh, I miss them so!!

  10. admin
    admin says:

    They kind of tend to wander. They’re a ballooning spider- I got to see all the babies flying out after we had a big’n on the back porch who made 3 egg sacks.

  11. mothie
    mothie says:

    Lazarus Had the Right Idea

    change a diaper — oh yeah
    plan an invasion — extraterrestrial
    butcher a hog — seen it
    conn a ship — does Puzzle Pirates count?
    design a building — with or without a computer?
    write a sonnet — of course
    balance accounts — do they have to balance?
    build a wall — helped
    set a bone — seen that too
    comfort the dying — sadly
    take orders — yes sir
    give orders — hop to it!
    cooperate — when I must
    act alone — frequently
    solve equations — real close on this one
    analyze a new problem — all the time
    pitch manure — and bale hay!
    program a computer — that’s what I’ve got my guys for
    cook a tasty meal — you bet
    fight efficiently — verbally
    die gallantly — tbc

    Works for me. ;-j

  12. myriadwhispers
    myriadwhispers says:

    Apologies for butting in, but do you think they would fare well in Northern California’s climate?

    p.s. Your Knitty article is packed with great info, but it doesn’t feel like a technical sort of read. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Great job.

  13. admin
    admin says:

    Many of the passiflora do well in California climes – it all depends on your elevation, and how much freezing you get. Caerulea and incarnata are both fairly hardy; some of the ones like alata-caerulea and quadrangularis may grow there if it doesn’t freeze.

  14. misoranomegami
    misoranomegami says:

    ^.^ I saw that! I was reading the article on silk and thought “Whoa someone must be a huge fan of Oakenking! Look at all this stuff!” *grins* Side question on the passionflower vine butterflies. Do you have to have passion flowers to get them or how does that work? They sound beautiful. (And just checking that this isn’t related to passionfruit. ) Congrats!

  15. admin
    admin says:

    Yes, the butterflies are species-specific. They only eat passionflower vine leaves. I always have Gulf Fritillaries; some folks further south have gotten other longwings on their passionflowers.

    And yes, related to passionfruit. That one is Passiflora edulis – although several of the varieties, especially the wild local type, are delicious. Caerulea is kind of bland.

  16. admin
    admin says:

    Thanks! It was fun to put together.

    It’s becoming difficult not to write the same article again and again; I need to figure out creative approaches to make “an article on silk” something different each time.

  17. ruddawg
    ruddawg says:

    Woo Hoo!

    Kudos to the cutest cowboy around! That’s a well written and informative article. WOW…to be published on Knitty…that’s awesome!

    Your wormspit.com is a great site. I used to be on it regularly at work, when my job sucked and I needed something intelligent and fiber-y to get me through the day. I lost the job, but still go to your site often.

    I’ve sent my husband to that same site when he tried to rear his own months. He was raising polyphemus until they just up and died as caterpillars. Now that we’ve moved to a less forested area, I don’t know if he will try that again.

    BUT..I’m getting off point here. Congratulations on your article!

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