Friday, August 26, 2016

Blessed ~ Part 2

(butterfly by Winding Vine Designs)

Last summer, my younger son and I started a Monarch Butterfly sanctuary in our backyard.

(butterfly by Ginny Henson)

We started by planting Butterfly Weed, a variety of Milkweed.
Unfortunately for Monarch Butterflies, Milkweed is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars eat. This is a huge problem that has caused a massive decline in the Monarch populations.
This year we were able to add Common Milkweed and Swamp Milkweed plants.

(butterfly by Norma Schneeman)

So we have been nurturing our little plants
and waiting and waiting...

(butterfly by Winding Vine Designs)

I think that we check the plants several times a day for signs of Monarch life...
When finally...

We spotted our first caterpillar!
We checked on him practically every hour. Amazed at how much he could eat.
He grew bigger and bigger and was getting close to forming his chrysalis,
when all of the sudden he disappeared.
I think this big fat caterpillar was a treat for one of our many bird friends :(
We were so disappointed.

Then just a few weeks later, my younger son gifted me with this:

A caterpillar house! One of the screen walls has Velcro on three sides for full accessibility. When we find a caterpillar, we can cut the stalk of milkweed and place it in a mason jar of water. Then our little caterpillars can eat and grow in peace. Once the chrysalis begins to open, we can open the side so the butterfly can fly free!
So now we are waiting again...
Hoping for another caterpillar before the summer season is over... 

Our older son was also very good to me! Knowing how much I love Wes Anderson's movies "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Grand Budapest Hotel", he gave me several of his older movies that I have never seen :)
And our older son has also been busy ecologically this summer - studying the nesting habits of black crowned night herons at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Although these birds are common in many areas of our country, they have become endangered in Illinois with only three nesting sites remaining. And one of them happens to be in the Lincoln Park Zoo.

We are all trying to make a difference!

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.
~Psalm 116:1-2

Blessings, Patti


Jean Bee said...

Very interesting post! Really enjoyed it.

Marilyn said...

I hope you get another Caterpillar soon, what a great idea.
The Heron is beautiful!

Deborah Botham said...

Patti, I so look forward to your posts, not only for your handwork, but for a glimpse of a life well-lived. The Scripture you include at the close is always appreciated and, more often than not, just what I needed! Blessings to you and your family from the Northeast!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Loved this post! Thanks for the education.
Didn't get to the zoo while in Chicago. What an experience for your son.
Happy Sunday to you.
Hugs :)

Von said...

You are doing such good things to improve the environment - wonderful post!!