Friday, July 29, 2011

Butterfly Babies

I have been watching one of God's most fascinating creative miracles begin in my own backyard. Ten days ago, after I had painstakingly gathered all the elements needed in my garden for attracting butterflies, a Monarch butterfly deposited a host of tiny white eggs on the milkweed plant.  Unfortunately, danger was lurking for these butterfly wannabe's in the form of a wasp that flew back and forth around the plant. Wasps will eat butterfly eggs, so to protect my new babies, I quickly moved the potted milkweed to the lanai.

The eggs soon began to hatch and before long there were about 25 tiny larvae crawling around. They rapidly grew into fat caterpillars that are devouring their weight in milkweed leaves. I can almost see them growing before my eyes! Yesterday I added three more plants to their dinner table and they are making short work of them. Some of the caterpillars are becoming lethargic, a sign that their metabolism is slowing down and soon they will form the "J" position and begin to enclose themselves in cocoons. Then they will begin their mysterious metamorphosis into beautiful butterflies.

                                                                                           ~ Laura Nonemaker

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