Monday, August 27, 2012

My Babies

Day 197
The Daily DuBrule 

For the past three days I have been closely watching my Asclepias tuberosa (orange butterfly weed). I happened to notice late in the evening on Friday that there were two monarch butterfly caterpillars on the unripe seedpods. Unless I went in the house and put on a headlamp it was really too late to truly check them out, but I filed the information in the back of my mind for the next day. Imagine my delight on Saturday afternoon when I went back to find three caterpillars, two on one plant, one hiding beneath the leaf on the other. 

Do you see it?
Saturday night two houseguests arrived. My sister is an avid gardener. Her friend loves gardens but is pretty new at this habitat creation stuff. I couldn't wait to show her my babies!

Sunday morning arrived and out to the garden we went. These voracious eaters had just about devoured the seed pods and were working their way through the leaves. That's fine with me. There were not three but SIX and a tiny newborn caterpillar as well. As we hung out on the deck throughout the morning the monarch butterfly flitted about, nectaring on the many butterfly bushes, Verbenas, perennial ageratum, globe amaranth, and other tempting goodies I had purposely planted everywhere. We would say "Hi Mommy" everytime we saw her and laugh.

My friend Jane learned about the life cycle of butterflies this weekend. I taught her how the monarchs have to have milkweed or it's relatives, Asclepias, in order to lay eggs. We talked about larval food plants and nectar plants and it was so much fun having a living classroom to teach in!

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