Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in spirit, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

Oh Lord,

Teach me to seek You and reveal yourself to me when I seek You.

For I cannot seek You unless You first teach me, nor find You unless You first reveal yourself to me.

Let me seek You in longing, and long for You in seeking.

Let me find You in love, and love You in finding.

~Saint Ambrose of Milan

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>

Name: Erin Yonke

Location: Aurora, IL

Info: I'm happily married to my husband and champion pro-life activist, Matt. I stay home with my three small boys; Ambrose (11/06), Peter (3/08), and Joseph (9/10).

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Raising Monarchs, days 1-4

Last summer we raised a Monarch caterpillar we got from my friend Renee, and I absolutely loved every second of it. This spring I set my sights on having a butterfly and hummingbird garden.   That is, mostly wild flowers and, very importantly, milkweed--the only monarch butterfly host plant.

I'll spare you most of the story, but you should know that I put a LOT of time and research a̶n̶d̶ ̶b̶i̶t̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶s̶o̶u̶l̶  into the varieties of milkweed I wanted and when to start them-- all to attract the most butterflies ASAP after they got here for the season (they're migratory, just FYI).  I was just getting geared up for Monarch season when--BAM--we got a new roof put on our house and the roofers leveled everything I had growing, leaving one lonely standing milkweed. Sad.  And, I mean, you don't just run to Home Depot to get a new milkweed plant (or 15).  I was d̶e̶v̶a̶s̶t̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶c̶r̶i̶e̶d̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶s̶  pretty disappointed.  I consoled myself with the fact that we could still get a caterpillar or two from a friend who would probably be able to give us enough milkweed to raise it, or maybe we'd see some later in the summer when my plants grow back.  But still.  But STILL.

Fast forward to Saturday, day 1.  My 8-year-old tells me he sees a monarch in the neighbors yard, ON MILKWEED.  And I think, No son.  The neighbor doesn't have milkweed, which is WHY I HAVE BEEN OBSESSIVELY TRYING TO GROW IT ALL SPRING.  But I nod.  "Oh yeah?  Cool.  I'll have to check that out."  Later that day, sure enough, I see a small milkweed peeking out from behind a rosebush just neighboring our yard.  And sure enough, be still my heart, there are two delicate little eggs hiding beneath a leaf.


We cut off the leaf and brought it in, placed on a slightly damp paper towel in a tupperware sandwich container, praising Ambrose all the while for being so observant.  I'm stoked.  These eggs will hatch in 3-5 days.

On Tuesday, day 3, we saw another monarch fluttering around outside our house.  (They're SO pretty, by the way.)  The kids and I watched as she slowly made her way to our one, lonely, sad-looking milkweed sitting beside our driveway.  She left us egg #3, which, by the way, felt pretty darn miraculous. :)

Egg #3

As the eggs get ready to hatch, they darken.  We noticed the contrast between the almost-ready Day One Eggs, and the fresh Day Three Eggs:


Late at night on Day 3, I noticed one of our eggs was gone and in its place was a teeny, tiny (and I mean TEENY-TINY) new caterpillar.  This morning the second one hatched.


This is the first, moved to a fresh leaf and ready to be placed in a jar.


And this is the second, freshly hatched near it's empty shell.  You can hardly see it, but if you look closely you can see its little black head.  



Stay tuned for more about our Monarchs!

Comments on "Raising Monarchs, days 1-4"

 

Anonymous Jessica Archuleta said ... (June 17, 2015 6:44 AM) : 

Did I just read that you stole the leaf with the eggs from your neighbor's yard?! Erin, you need therapy, you are stealing now!

I am teasing, can't wait to see your butterflies! We have a hummingbird nest in a tree right outside the front window. Yesterday I had the binoculars out watching it. Then I though, the neighbors are going to think I am spying into their house!

-Jessica

 

Blogger Erin said ... (June 17, 2015 7:48 AM) : 

LOL, okay, yeah, that sounds pretty nuts. To clarify, our neighbor is 80-something, uses a walker, and may or may not actually live in her house most of the time. I'm confident she won't mind.

 

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