Tuesday, August 12, 2008

tUtU's AnD BuTteRfliEs

For some reason, even amongst some speckled plants with a health issue or two in the yard and garden, seeing a kaleidoscope of butterflies fluttering about makes all seem vibrant, lively and healthy. The night before last, my daughter and I noticed all of the different ones partying down on our butterfly bushes and decided the next day we were going to try our hand at capturing a few. (I had my eye on this gorgeous yellow and blue number!) So, what I thought was going to be a quick cast or two turned into a very determined, competitive challenge that lasted pretty much most of the day! They were everywhere, but they weren't staying in one place for very long! My first attempt left my daughter extremely disappointed...and the little "mini-me" all of six years swiftly took the net out of my hands and said, here, "let me do it". The best part was that she had thrown on her ballerina tutu because she thought it made her look like a flower, which would, of course attract the butterflies! Very clever. We ended up with one larger butterfly with tattered and torn wings (not from our doing, mind you...we were very careful with the net!):) The other six or seven were smaller little numbers. (The prized yellow and blue beauties continued to escape us the entire day....better luck tomorrow!) We set up camp for them in this cute butterfly bungalow which is more or less a little mesh tent (a great way for kids to observe them up close). We laid out a scrumptious buffet for our fluttering friends that included tasty flowers, leaves with drops of sugar water, and an orange slice, so they should be most content during their overnight stay. My daughter had all of these great questions that I was only able to answer after a bit of online research......where do they sleep, how long do they live, what do they eat, what flowers do they like the most, do cats like to catch them, what's the difference between a moth and a butterfly? Interesting stuff that I can say her and I now know a little bit more about. Our butterfly hunt led to an afternoon of one nature adventure after another. We built a tree fort of sorts out of branches and challenged ourselves to creating artwork to adorn the interior walls using only what we could find around us. It's the kind of fun most of us forget to have on a regular basis, yet it's the best way to recharge our creative batteries.

Cheers to chasing butterflies and refreshing playtime in the great outdoors!

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