Metamorphosis

All life is amazing to me–both plant and animal. It’s just so complex. Almost every year we look for monarch butterfly larvae, and every year when those chrysalises break open and butterflies climb out, I am mind blown.

Early in August, one of our friends gave us two monarch babies that we called “the twins”. They were really tiny when we got them. Here’s one.

A few days later:

A week or so later, I found another caterpillar (I know it’s really called “larvae” but caterpillar is more fun & cute) while I was running. I carried that guy for two miles.

Campbell has a milkweed plant in her butterfly garden. When picking dinner for the twins, I found two eggs. They both hatched! They were SO tiny. I found a magnifying app for my phone and took this pic.

At that point, the butterfly house contained the twins, the mini twins, and the big guy that I had found running. The big guy made his chrysalis a few days after I picked him up. Unfortunately, he wasn’t smart and he chose a spot on the side of the butterfly house instead of on the top (like on the screen side). A ton of fluid ran down the side of the screen, and his chrysalis never formed. That was our first chrysalis failure. We’ve never had caterpillars hang in a “J” and not make it.

One day while walking in the park, we found another caterpillar. He only lived as a larvae for a few days before making his chrysalis.

Meanwhile, we fed the twins and the mini twins daily. But those babies were so TINY. We lost them. The original twins did great, though. Here they are in their little chrysalises:

We stopped adding fresh milkweed because all three larvae had made their cocoons. And then, all of the sudden, there was a caterpillar crawling on the side of the butterfly house. One of the mini twins had survived after all! We gave this one two two girls in our neighborhood. We never did find the other mini twin, so I guess he didn’t make it.

Over the weekend, I discovered that we have another variety of milkweed growing in Campbell’s butterfly garden. I guess we planned that garden pretty well. It’s called “butterfly weed”. I found another smallish caterpillar on it. I wonder how many monarch babies came and went on that plant that I didn’t even know about?

We decided to give that one away, too. A friend is bringing it into her second grade classroom.

Over the long weekend, all of our butterflies ended their short summer’s nap! It was fun being here to see it. The kids took turns letting them go. Campbell had on her pajamas and some kitty ears she made out of a head band and some chenille stems. Oh, and a scarf that was a “tail” tied around her waist.




Evan’s turn!




Newly hatched butterflies are so perfect for taking photos of because they just sit there drying out their wings.

Last year, we hatched painted ladies that we ordered in the mail, but monarchs are still our favorites.

Have you ever “raised” butterflies? It’s such a fun way to enjoy the insect life cycle with a non-creepy insect. I highly recommend it! 🙂

Lemonade Stand

Today at the spur of the moment Campbell and I decided to have a lemonade stand. It was a sunny day, Chris and Evan were gone, and she’s been asking to have one for awhile. It was pretty easy…we printed off some free signs, made some instant lemonade, and set up shop! We decided to donate all of the proceeds “to the animals”, as Campbell said (really to a local animal shelter). I took a picture to post on Instagram and Facebook to spread the word. We also sent a text to some family & friends.

It only took a few minutes before the business started rolling in!


Truth be told most of our visitors were friends & family that saw our posts on social media, but it was still fun!

I told Campbell that a “friendly wave” would encourage people to stop and buy lemonade.

And many did stop! Evan helped too.

We were only out there for about 90 minutes because it started to rain, but we made $83 for the animal shelter in that time! I had no idea we’d be that busy or that people would lay down 5’s and 10’s and even a $20 for a cup of lemonade. Our sign just said donation only and not a price–I think that was a good move. We also had so much fun visiting with friends, family, and neighbors. Most hung out a bit and had their lemonade on our lawn.

It will be so much fun to bring $83 to the animal shelter (and hard to leave without taking an animal home). Have you ever had a lemonade stand? I remember wanting to do it as a kid, but I don’t think I ever did. We have big plans to do another later this summer!

Instagram

I love Instagram even more than Facebook lately because it’s almost all pictures and not much talking. Well I guess there IS talking, but you can easily skip that and focus on the pictures. I do follow a lot of people I know on Instagram, but I also follow several I don’t know (I don’t do that on Facebook). I thought I’d share some of the people that I don’t know who I enjoy following on Instagram.

Garner Quad Squad
After a long battle with infertility, this young couple had quadruplets. They’re adorable, the mom is funny, and it’s just a sweet little IG account to follow.

I follow a few elite runners. One of them is Steph Rothstein. Steph is the mother of a one-year-old and currently pregnant with her second child. She still runs @ 26 weeks.

I also follow Kara Goucher.

Tara Whitney is a really talented lifestyle photographer.

Tuna Melts My Heart is a hilarious IG about a tiny dog named Tuna with an overbite.

Ni Hao Y’all posts pictures of her kids, several who were adopted from China. Recently she adopted a little girl with Down’s Syndrome and a heart condition.

Running With Sam is pictures of the photographer running with GSP.

Christine posts gorgeous pictures of her area and of herself doing yoga poses.

Kelly K Roberts you probably know as the woman who takes pictures of unsuspecting “hotties” during her races.

You probably know Kelle Hampton from her Enjoying the Small Things blog, but her Instagram is good too.

Baby Sideburns is hilarious.

Moxie DeKalb takes breathtaking wildlife photos.

Which Instagrammers do you follow that you don’t know in real life? Do you follow any of the ones I mentioned? Do you follow me? Here I am! jscott on Instagram