Life cycle of cabbage white butterfly
Munching away on my newly grown Canary creepers (Tropaeolum pergrinum) is a hoard of minute caterpillars all piled on top of one another. Those on the top are literally squashing those on the bottom layer. Bigger caterpillars are sensibly lying side-by-side. My eye rested on a nibbling bunch of little ones that are creating their own mini island. Only the leaf remains covered by their bodies and a rather thin stalk stops them all tumbling to the ground - for the moment at least.
My plant devoured, I felt rewarded when several days later I spotted a chrysalis anchored to a sedge leaf in another part of the garden. Over the next two weeks I watched, as it stayed attached to a slender leaf during strong winds and really heavy showers. Soaked through it turns a grey colour. Then one morning only the fragile casing remained. I like to think that the butterfly sitting on a mint leaf a few days later was my transformed chrysalis.