Two friends of mine, co-teachers at a local elementary school, recently took their students on a field trip to check out a Monarch Waystation that my mom had started. They found four caterpillars there, and brought them back to the classroom for the students to observe, and to keep the caterpillars from freezing on what was predicted to be a very cold night.
The little monarchs proved to be very hungry caterpillars indeed, eating every bit of milkweed in their enclosures and then some. Then they transformed into beautiful chrysalises, pale green flecked with gold, and the students anxiously waited for the butterflies to arrive.
But when it came time for the four-day student break in early November, the caterpillars were still in chrysalis form, and my friend asked kindly if we might babysit the monarchs for the weekend. Of course we said yes; we’re always glad to play host family for wildlife.
Over those four days, we watched the chrysalises change from green to transparent, the vibrant black and orange of folded-up butterfly wings visible inside.
And then… we had butterflies.
In the midst of all the hard and stressful goings on of this past week, we had four brand-new butterflies; three boys, and one girl.
We released two on Tuesday, right before we went to vote, sending living symbols of hope out into the world.
The other (younger) two went back to the elementary school this morning, to be released by the students.
Godspeed, monarchs. We wish you well on your journey.
Updates on a few other November journeys:
NaNoWriMo: As of this evening I’m at 17,707/50,000 words.
NaBloPoMo: This is post 9/30.