Every year in late summer we raise Monarchs. We wander through the field and around the pond looking for Monarch caterpillars. We take them home with a healthy supply of milkweed and we feed them and feed them, until they crawl off into my ivy plant to make their chrysalis’.
Last year, while at a friend’s house (whom happens to be a butterfly lady to the max) my boys found some Swallowtail caterpillars. Naturally, our friend sent us home with those and a supply of dill to feed them with. Time passed and the Swallowtail caterpillars wandered off into the ivy. They built nice little cocoons, but weeks passed and nothing happened. I figured they had died. Time carried on and we all forgot about the Swallowtails that had made homes in my ivy.
Until two days ago.
I was folding laundry when I heard Caleb calling to me in an extremely excited voice. He kept telling me to come quickly because there was a black and yellow butterfly in the mud room. I kept saying back, “I’ll be there in a minute.” Finally, the urgency in his voice piqued my curiosity and I went out to see what had him so excited. The minute I stepped into the mud room I saw this beauty on the ivy.
I carefully picked him up and took him outside to my daffodils. Then I ran back inside for my camera!
Yesterday morning he was still on the daffodils. I think it is a bit early for swallowtails. A bit too cold and a bit lacking in floral treats. So, I brought him back inside and fed him! Oh yes! It was a science bonanza in our kitchen. It was so awesome. As he clung to my finger I dripped a sugar/water solution by his proboscis. I didn’t know if he would eat, but just as soon as I placed the drop on my finger, he stretched out his “tongue” and drank and drank.
Today is supposed to be warm, up near 70 degrees so I will place him back outside. Hopefully he will be able to survive on his own. Of course, he has many watching over him and many desiring to take their turns at feeding him.
The science lesson continues!