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A Weekend Full of Wonder

This was how mine started out:

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In mid-September, my kids found two monarch caterpillars and we were THRILLED because we hadn’t found any for the past couple of years, and rarely had seen a monarch butterfly in that time also. (ALL the sad faces.) So we happily took in these two caterpillars and set them up in a sweet little habitat so we could protect them (the milkweed they were on was on the side of our road…and is regularly mowed down by the town, grrrr) and watch the miracle of their transformation.

But we were going to Maine and Vermont, and feared we’d miss it. In fact we knew we would once they transformed into chrysalides, so we sadly took them over to our neighbor so she could release them while we were gone. But to our utter surprise and delight (and concern, because we thought perhaps something had gone wrong and they’d died) they waited for us! So last Thursday evening and Friday, the two emerged as these GORGEOUS creatures.

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See that smile? Seriously, what could be better than holding a butterfly?

Unfortunately, they emerged on a day of hard rain, and we knew Saturday was going to be too cold for them to fly. So we needed to figure out how to make sure they got some food. So on Friday, 13yo went to ask our neighbor if we could cut some of her end-of-season flowers (since we have none), and he came back with news that a monarch expert would come visit us the next morning.

And she was fantastic. She taught the kids how to feed the butterflies with a syringe of sugar water.

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We learned how to hold them safely. This guy was HUNGRY. He drained the entire end of the syringe, and was happy to hold onto it himself.

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You can see his proboscis–the circle of black where a mouth would be.

She also showed us how to tag the butterflies for Monarch Watch.

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Pretty much a perfect way to start our weekend.

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And then a beautiful way to end it…by saying goodbye on a beautiful, warm, sunny, fall day. :-) Hope you had a wonderful weekend, too!

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