For Mother’s Day we have a tradition of planting in our garden in the back yard. The kids help pick out what we want to plant while we’re at the nursery, then enjoy digging holes in the garden to plant their favorites.
Since Kate and I are studying butterflies for her lapbook (and since we both like butterflies a lot), we decided to plant some milkweed to attract Monarchs. Monarch butterflies like to not only sip the nectar from the flowers of these plants, but they also like to lay their eggs on the leaves. The baby caterpillars then eat the leaves as they grow, turn into chrysalises, and then eventually finish the life cycle to become an adult Monarch butterfly.
Within only an hour of planting our milkweed in the back yard, we spotted a Monarch butterfly flitting around the plants over and over for a good 10-15 minutes. Little did we know that it was a she and she was actually laying her eggs! Just a few days after planting is when we noticed the eggs on the undersides of the leaves and then a couple of days later we were already noticing TINY green caterpillars starting to gnaw holes in the leaves.
Today, only one week after planting, we saw a much larger yellow/white striped caterpillar on the underside of one of the leaves.
Needless to say, we are all very excited to get the opportunity to watch the life cycle of a butterfly in our own backyard!! And I just had to share it with you all! I’ll keep you posted as our caterpillars grow larger and turn into chrysalises. We can hardly wait!
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