Butterfly redemption

When I first moved here I was amazed by the monarch butterflies that were (are!) seemingly everywhere. Here, you can watch the whole thing from small caterpillar to BIG, FAT CATERPILLAR, to crysallis, to butterfly.

I’m sure we had them where I grew up – but not plentiful enough for me to find and watch the process.

We had a branch of a swan plant inside, with a crysallis. This was to protect the crysallis from the wasps that would gladly eat it. When the butterfly has emerged and dried its wings, we would take it outside.

I was new to the process, and one of the first butterflies we “saved” this way I accidentally touched the body. It immediately released the rest of the fluid it needed to extend its wings. It never recovered, and it died, to my sorrow.

Fast forward to today, as my children & I walked to school. We found a butterfly on the footpath, its wings not completely dry yet. If we left it where it was, an unsuspecting person would likely step on it. And so, mindfully careful of where I touched the butterfly, I reached down and encouraged it to climb up on my hand.

The kids were thrilled. I explained what I was doing and why, and they asked if we could take the butterfly into the classroom. I told them I wasn’t sure the butterfly would stay with us that long, but we’d let him rest on my hand until we got there, for sure.

My son, the butterfly expert (they had done a whole component at school about the monarchs) informed me it was a female monarch (because it had spots).

We walked and chatted, but, as I expected, the butterfly fluttered away before we got to the school. My daughter watched where it went. And I felt better, because this time I had saved the butterfly.


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

3 responses to “Butterfly redemption”

  1. Jenn@ You know... that Blog? says :

    That was a beautiful post 🙂 Thanks for the smile!

    Just noticed your comment on Jade’s anniversary post and thought I’d stop by. I find you… peaceful. You have a way of writing that settles my blood pressure. Is that weird to say?? Seriously though; in my crazed world, that is a very fine thing indeed!

    Hanging clothes by moonlight almost… ALMOST had me heading for the washing machine. Almost.

    Have a terrific day!

  2. Robin G says :

    What a beautiful opportunity for redemption. I can hear your tender heart in this post. We are kindred spirits after all (which I suspected from your first comment on my blog).

    I live in Utah, in the US. My childhood home was a hundred yards or so from the base of a mountain and my summers were spent hiking. One of my favorite things to do was hunt monarch caterpillars (in a good way). The best spot to find them around here is on the underside of milkweed plant leaves. When we found one we’d put it and several of the leaves in a jar and watch the process, releasing when they were ready. What a wonderful experience. I believe things like this helped me to develop a respect for all life that many people in today’s world don’t have.

    Thank you for this story. Love it!

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