Butterfly Garden – Part 1

Thanks to Erik’s wonderful Grade 1 teacher, Mrs.  McCaw, we are very excited about butterflies here.  It all started in September when Erik started school and Mrs. McCaw had so many Monarch butterfly caterpillars in all different stages of life set up in the classroom.  The children would observe them and after the butterflies had formed their chrysalis and then later emerged as butterflies, the children were able to go and set them free (usually with the butterflies landing on their noses first for a drink of sugar-water). 

So now it’s summer-time again and the Monarch’s are busy laying their eggs.  But not just anywhere!  They only lay their eggs on milk-week and low and behold, we actually have milk-week growing here in one of our flower gardens!   I’ve pulled it out every other year (I’m not sure I even knew what it was) but this year, knowing that it’s on the ONLY host plant for Monarch’s, we’re keeping ours.    And that led to Mrs. McCaw coming to our house this week to show us how to look for Monarch eggs and we have some!     Now we just learned from the guide at the butterfly conservatory that out of the 200 eggs a monarch lays, only 2 of those will end up as mature butterflies, so the odds aren’t that great, but it’s easy to take them inside and raise them, so we’re going to try!   Monarch’s are not endangered, but they are being watched, so it’s nice to lend mother-nature a hand, and what a science lesson!

Here is an egg and 2 tiny tiny caterpillars that just hatched today!  See how tiny they are?  Too bad I didn’t put anything in the pic to compare, but that egg isn’t much bigger than the period at the end of this sentence.  Sorry – I know they are hard to see, my old camera just doesn’t want to zoom in closer and focus.

They are the little things with the black heads.  It’s hard to believe that in two weeks they will be huge caterpillars! 

So, back to the butterfly garden part.  I’ve had a flower garden here that I’ve never liked, but just wasn’t sure what to do with it.  And it’s the one that has always had milk-week trying to grow in it.  So then it came to me… I would dig it all up and plant flowers and plants with butterflies in mind and make our very own buttefly garden.   This is what the flower garden looked like before…

all over-grown and full of plants that aren’t meant to be in full sun all day.   So yesterday, I dug most of it out.   There were a lot of hostas… A TON.  But now it’s ready for its new plants, I’ll keep you posted!

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3 thoughts on “Butterfly Garden – Part 1

  1. Lisa I love your blog! What great pictures of the kids. Pretty neat that Mrs. McCaw came to help set up your butterfly garden. It is absolutely aazing to watch them grow and ‘ hatch’. The children’s libarian at Sherwood always has a couple at the branch in an aquariam for the kids to watch. Hope to see you soon!

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