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My View: Anxious moments, beautiful butterflies

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05.09.2021

Selene Kranz

Butterfly season has come to an end. At least the days of scouring the underside of milkweed leaves for small white dots that held within them the potential for a monarch butterfly.

I reminisced as I scrubbed the enclosures that had been scattered throughout my garage for most of the summer. At peak, they teemed with activity from early morning until late at night. I’d check caterpillar health and habitat several times each day.

I learned to distinguish between eggs that were viable and the more translucent versions that had already hatched. I’d clip the smallest possible square of leaf surrounding the egg, cognizant that my crop of milkweed had to last through the voracious eaters’ five molts. Several days later, I’d find the tiniest of caterpillars. A friend offered a powerful magnifying glass when I shared my fear that I might accidentally toss out newborns with the skeletal leaves that had dried around them. It takes a village …

Every morning, I’d survey the growing nursery. My anxiety lessened once the littlest charges were big enough to be easily seen. It was fun to watch them travel about the enclosure; especially as their colors intensified, and their faces, antennae and feet became more defined.

When the first magical transformation occurred, I........

© The Buffalo News


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