This is the fifth installment in a year-long series of monthly scenes from Claude Moore Park in Sterling, VA. To read from the beginning, please visit the past months:
This month we had to check out the new construction in the Discovery Grove, because DIRT!
In the interest of picture-taking, I forced my poor children to take a five minute hike to get there, instead of their usual beeline from the parking lot.
As we came around the back of the Visitor’s Center, I spied something I hadn’t seen yet in the park this year:
a monarch caterpillar, munching on milkweed leaves! I got a few quick images and headed off to chase the children. And then I didn’t really think about it again while we played at the Visitor’s Center.
As we were leaving via the front path, a park employee exclaimed in surprise, having spied a monarch caterpillar munching on a milkweed leaf. It turned out that the one I’d seen earlier hadn’t just been the first one I’d seen, it was the first one anyone had seen in the park this year.
Since there have been so few monarchs this season, park staff decided to move them to a location safe from predators. In total, we found three that day.
They made interesting photography camp subjects.
Two days later, we returned to the park for Ordinary Times.
The kids always have fun dressing up, helping out, and trying new (old) things.
Before we left for the day, we checked on the monarch caterpillars and found…
…one of them had changed into a chrysalis! If all goes well, we’ll have butterflies early next month.
Until then, happy discovering!