Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Butterflies were Meant to be Free
We had an interesting experience at Bugle Hill this past week. Seems when we brought our house plants inside last fall, they were hiding a few stow-aways. We didn't notice anything unsual at first, but within a fews days of brining the plants in, we had an influx of wooly worms in the house. We would find them crawling throughout the house like they owned it. The cats of course were kept busy and amused. I didn't put the wooly worms back outside because it had gotten so cold I was afraid I would be dooming them, so everytime I found one racing for the living room I would place it back into a plant. My favorite I named Paco. It became a bit of a game (for me anyway). The cats were always disappointed when I saved one from their clutches. I noticed an actual cocoon in one of the plants, but then thought nothing more about it until one day last week. Apparently that cocoon was growing an Eastern Black Swallowtail. It flitted about the house one evening. The cats were happy again. We immediately googled the pretty thing to see how best to care for it. We learned how to make butterfly nectar and tried to get it to eat. Wiki said we should make sure it was well nourished and then place it in an unheated garage until spring, when it could go outside and be free. Well, it wasn't easy but after a few days in the garage it actually drank the nectar and I saw some hope I could keep it alive until warmer weather. Alas, last night when I came home I notice it was hobbling around and just didn't look right. I decided it should live in the guest bathroom safe from the cats until it was well enough to go outside. Try as I might, I couldn't get it to eat and sadly, it died in the night. On the bright side, I have a slew of tiger moths's (what the wooly worms will become) itching to emerge. I wonder if I will recognize Paco? Has anyone else ever tried to "save" a wild creature? If all goes right, it can be a satisfying experience. Let me hear your stories!