"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." ~ Richard Buckminster FullerMy brother is here... it is a busy and too short time of being together, laughing, working, planting... and yes, buying another Japanese maple tree. Just before he arrived I was looking over the flower beds marveling that just weeks before, except for the parsley and fennel and the evergreens, these beds were simply mulch where plants once grew. And then, remarkably, they began to return.. slowly at first but then almost changing each day. A few will not return and I don't know why... a few, I am still holding out hope for. The milkweed are slow to emerge and then grow more rapidly. I was watching them inch up towards the sky, each day a little more. Then I saw some leaves with holes and ragged edges and I thought... "My, these look really ratty... and still they are so short." A closer look showed why... and when I checked all the milkweed it was the same.... little one-half inch long green, yellow, black and white striped caterpillars. I haven't seen any returning Monarch butterflies, but they have slipped in and laid the eggs and so the cycle of life begins.
By the way, of the six black swallowtail chrysalides that overwintered in the sunroom... one emerged on a cold and rainy day, a little too early.... another emerged on time, dried and flew off. Four have not changed, but still a couple of weeks remain in their time frame. I haven't seen these butterflies around either, but I see that the fennel already has a lot of tiny eggs on it. This year I have planted more fennel behind our fence, near the preserve. I want to have a yard that is awash and a flutter with butterflies so thick you can hardly take a step without seeing one. Sigh. Perhaps.
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