Mom has a hobby 🦋🌿🐛🌻

I think its beyond healthy (within reason) to have a hobby besides being a mom. Mine is gardening. I love to be outdoors. Being in nature can 180 my mood.

Ive loved gardening since I turned 6 and my neighbor bought me mums to plant for my birthday. Possibly to hinder me from picking her flowers, but we’ll never know.

I watched the ants in at first horror that they were on my moms peonies. Only to learn they are part of the process. Accepting that bugs are an instrument & not all “bad”.

One bug that seemed to allude me was the caterpillar. I remember one that became a wasp. We tried once more but caterpillars don’t eat grass who knew 🤷‍♀️. But truly I only remember 2 my whole childhood.

I imagine we didn’t have many caterpillars or butterflies because of all the “iscides” used not only in our yard in the 90’s but the farming community as a whole.

When we moved into our place the old man that lived here before had plants and trees to welcome the hummingbirds. I added more of my favorites. Doing my best to have something blooming most of the season. I didn’t notice butterflies but I wasn’t looking.

Id say it wasn’t until I was pregnant that I noticed caterpillars. I banned pesticides and herbicides that year. I enjoy being barefoot in the yard.

Last year though was the year. I believe I saw a swallowtail. From there I slipped into a butterfly photography & identification rabbit hole. I learned my garden was already a decent butterfly and larva host spot. So I have begun to added add and add to further that as well as invite the butterflies I haven’t seen into my yard.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from this year and last.

id’s listed as determined by application I downloaded

Beckers White

Hairstreak

Common Buckeye

Orange Sulfur

Checkered White

Cabbage White

Red Admiral

Hair streak

Comma

Red Admiral

Common Wood Nymph

Emperor

Comma

Pearl cresent

Mom has a hobby 🦋🌿🐛🌻

Monarch update

I have 6 caterpillars 🐛 currently. My oldest one I think is close to making its chrysalis. I will admit I have had a few casualties. (This is frustrating but I have to remind myself only 10% of eggs in the wild make it. And none of the eggs I left out on their own have made it.)

One I accidentally touched cleaning the cage (when it was newly hatched).

One escapee got smashed when I was looking for him.

One failure to thrive.

One fell into a tiny crack and I fed him for days he wouldn’t come out and I accidentally poked him with a lifeline. This one upset me the most. We were so close to a rescue.

I have definitely learned from my mistakes. And the second batch has faired much better.

Here are some photos.

The last photo is my big guy just a couple days ago. I do fear I may run out of milkweed. The 6 of them ate 3 decent sized leaves yesterday.

*update* 9/1/18

He/she is starting!

And the “littles” started or are about to molt I’m not positive bet they are somewhere between 3rd and 4th instars.

That’s all for now!

Gallery