A week ago, we needed to move the school butterfly garden inside because the parking garage was being pressure washed and repaired. We moved the plants into the student break room; on Monday, we noticed one caterpillar.
By the end of the week, we had several caterpillars. Someone asked me if I had brought them in. I said, "No, they hatched from eggs that some mother Monarch laid."
I've really enjoyed seeing them each day as I filled my tea kettle or rinsed dishes or just made a trip to the break room to see the caterpillars. But I also kept an eye to the leaves; I didn't want them to run out of food. I didn't want them to starve in real time, before our eyes. The skeleton crew of school staff doesn't need that unpleasantness.
Yesterday, I made a trip to my favorite nursery to buy some more milkweed plants. I knew they were about out of leaves to eat. And then I decided to take them home. As they've gotten bigger and bigger, I knew they would be moving to the chrysalis stage soon. I didn't want them to emerge as butterflies in the building.
I do realize they might be more likely to live in the building. I know how vulnerable they are to predators at every stage.
I put a few of the plants with caterpillars on them into a box and put the box on the floorboard of the front passenger seat. Having caterpillars as passengers proved a bit distracting. I didn't want them to fall/crawl off the plants and into the car. At least one of them had crawled away earlier in the day.
We put the pots on the porch where I'm hoping the caterpillars will be a bit safer from bird predators. They will have plenty of places to create their chrysalis, plenty of surfaces from which to hang.
These caterpillars don't understand social distancing!
I also bought 2 hanging baskets of flowers, not for the caterpillars but for me. Plus, they were on sale!
It's good to remember that even though we're in a time of great challenge, there are still delights to behold.
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