It was a beautiful day…

My husband and I were sitting in the backyard last weekend and noticed a black swallowtail butterfly flit around the potted plants. I told my husband it had been doing it for hours and when I went over and checked the parsley I called him over to see- a newly laid butterfly egg! And look- there is another, and another!

Did he reply with wonderment at the beauty of nature? Or with wonderment at me and my insanely good eyesight and perceptivity? Yes, that last one… kinda. What he said was something to the effect of: Picking nits from the past few lice incidents has really paid off! Well. Yes. I guess it has, my love. I guess it has.

 

There is a kids’ story or two in here somewhere…

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away… I remember helping my cousin Jennifer collect bugs  once for a school project. And now that I think of it- she was homeschooled so how the hell did that work? Anyway. I caught a huge red wasp in a tupperware container- and it beat against the lid like a drum. And there were a few beetles, maybe a June bug? All I remember is the wasp really (for obvious, scare the hell out of you reasons) and that I was SO good at catching bugs she put me in charge of the jar. (Gee… thanks? Is white-washing the fence fun too?) But anytime she would point out a butterfly I’d only pretend to try to catch it and shoo it away instead. At the end of the day we had enough bugs for her collection and not a single one was a butterfly. I was 10.

And today not only do I grow plants in my garden to attract and feed the adult butterflies I love so well, I grow host plants for their caterpillars to eat too. And while some of the caterpillars are cool, some really display the depth of my devotion because they… well they’re not cute. I have a key lime tree which is the host to my favorite butterfly, the Giant Swallowtail. Who’s caterpillar is basically bird poop. Think I’m kidding?

cater

Boom. Evolution is wonderfully specific at times.

And then that thing turns into this…

butterfly-1403392

My Precious!

And I really don’t know why the story was about an ugly duckling turning into a swan… because bird poop turning into a butterfly wins that competition ALL day long.