B is for Butterfly. It is also for Beautiful!
It all started with a single Milkweed plant…..
I think one of the most magical things in nature is watching the life cycle of a butterfly. A few years ago, we planted our first Milkweed, with the idea of tagging Monarch Butterflies for Monarch Watch. I remember the excitement of seeing that first Monarch visit the young plant. It’s amazing how they locate a single plant among all those other plants and scrubs. It’s amazing how they are uniquely designed to find the one plant that nourishes them and provides the right food for their young. It’s amazing to inspect a leaf and find, safely deposited on the underside, a single white egg.
A couple of weeks later, we returned home after a few days away to find bare green sticks protruding from the ground where our Milkweed once stood. We rushed into the backyard to find a few chubby caterpillars climbing the garden wall and several more chrysalis hanging from the high posts along the wall. I rushed out to the local garden store to find more nourishment for the babies, as if their survival depended on me!
We brought one catepillar inside, carefully placing it in a butterfly habitat the kids had received the prior Christmas, with a few fresh leaves, just in case it was still a Very Hungry Caterpillar. We observed its metamorphosis from catepillar, to crysalis, to beautiful butterfly. AMAZING!!
Spike, pictured above, was tagged and released that day….off to continue the cycle.