Saturday, July 11, 2009
Hungry Caterpillars in My Kitchen
I found monarch eggs two weeks ago in the milkweed patch along the river path. I carried the leaves home, placed them in a jar, and waited for the eggs to hatch. I am never positive it will happen, and when it does, the caterpillars are tiny and black, so small I am never sure they are not just specks of dirt. My eight year old nephew came for a sleep-over that weekend and slept right beside the eggs. The next morning, they were eggs no more, they were caterpillars. For the past two weeks they have been eating and eating and eating. They have grown big and fat. Today the first one crawled up to the lid of the jar, fastened himself on, flipped upside down, and slipped out of his old skin and became a jade green chrysalis. Hard to believe that he is now becoming something completely different - a dream with wings.
I am already more than a week into my summer holidays and just beginning to settle into this greenest of seasons - so glad to be at home with my windows and my light. I am just learning how to post these blogs, spending too much time in front of my computer, not enough time with the sky. The morning began with thunder - an hour of pouring rain and thunder!! Long after sunrise, the sky was still dark and ominous, but then suddenly the sun broke through. I put on my garden shoes, grabbed my camera, and went out to the flowers . . .
One side of my yard is lined with leafy peonies - the grandmother of all flowers - pink, white, deep, deep red. I have been deadheading the flowers all week long, but this one, just opening, survived the storm. I have lived in my house for nearly twenty years; these peonies were here long before I moved in and with any luck will be here long after I am gone.