By the end of July my photographic library usually has a myriad of colorful photos of the butterflies that grace the gardens. This year they are few and far between. Perhaps it was the many March snowstorms or the early heat followed by a cold snap. Maybe it is the lack of some larval foods as seven oaks fell during a wind storm.
But last week a few began to appeared. It led me on a quest to locate their caterpillars. A of today I am raising six monarch and six black swallowtail caterpillars. I hope to help increase the population!
A new start – the source from which something new springs forth
I love caterpillars as much as I love butterflies and moths. Their shapes and colors are astounding. But even more miraculous is how a creature that has a multitude of legs and appears to be nothing more than a colorful sac filled with fluff can emerge to become a creature with scaled wings that flies higher than any human can jump. Take time to seek them out and smile at what Gaia has created!
I live in eastern Pennsylvania and like millions of others along the eastern coast of the United States we are in a deep freeze. The sun is shining through the skylight but the warmth is deceiving. Just tried to drive to a local winery, the back roads were drifted over thanks to wind gusts of up to 40 miles an hour. I need a warm weather connection! So enjoy with me one of the most transformative creatures – caterpillars!
All the beauties you see here have called the gardens their home before transforming and flying away…