Elissa be-bopped over this afternoon as soon as she finished her homework and found me where she knew I would be--in the garden. I was so glad to see her sweet, cheerful face, especially since our time together yesterday didn't end on the happiest note. She's become my gardening partner, this grandgirl of mine, and is old enough now to be a lot of help.
I was about halfway through digging the second post hole for my magnificent soon-to-be-revealed project and it was a welcome break to have her assist me in transplanting stray zinnia seedlings from the yard into the garden. After finishing the zinnias, we began to gather cosmos seedlings and that's when I spotted a caterpillar and we forgot all about our transplants as we excitedly began to search the Internet to determine what kind of caterpillar we had and what kind of butterfly it would become. With a light rain falling, we huddled over my phone under the canopy of the swing and scrolled through what seemed like hundreds of caterpillars, some of them strange beyond imagination, until finally we found one that looked just like ours.
This caterpillar was destined to become an American Lady butterfly! Elissa immediately wanted to create a habitat for it so we could watch the metamorphosis and off we went in search of just the right container for its home. What did this caterpillar eat, we wondered, and so we did another search and discovered that it likes rudebeckia (Black-Eyed Susan) plants. We located plenty of those in the garden and found some suitable twigs for pupation. Elissa and I agreed that this had been a grand adventure. A grand adventure indeed!
One just never knows what fun surprises are hiding
in the garden, simply waiting to be discovered!