Butterfly Magic

5 May

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There was a bit of excitement in our house this morning as we discovered one of the Monarch caterpillars had finally ‘hatched’.

We planted four swan plants in summer under a little tree to provide some shelter from overhead predators. They may not have any enemies from above, but I was too lazy to Google. We ended up with ten caterpillars. They got massive. Embarrassingly so. Then all but one disappeared. People told me they build their wee chrysalisses (plural?) anywhere, and that they travel interstate to make their grand transformation. Like going to LA for plastic surgery. Those People may have just been being kind. The caterpillars may have died.

The one we saw drying its wings this morning emerged from the sole chrysalis on one of our swan plants. It was a very nice surprise in the middle of Autumn.

I’m a big fan of butterfly gardens. They add another livestock component to your garden. Throw in some swan plants, sunflowers, marigolds, and zinnia in the spring. Check out progress of your caterpillars/butterflies daily, preferably while walking around your garden in gumboots with a glass of sauvignon blanc.

For butterfly gardens in New Zealand, check out Green Urban Living for some ideas.

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