Everyone's seen my Murphy and Loaner cat, but tonight, I have an overnight guest. I live in Michigan and this year has been terribly late for the vegetation. My dill still isn't a foot tall and my milkweed, while budding, is barely two feet tall. I've also only seen two different swallowtails this year. Just two. Last year, my yard, which is an unofficial butterfly sanctuary, was full of monarchs and swallowtails and fritillary and several others we don't often see.
Imagine my surprise today when I saw this monarch caterpillar on a tiny milkweed plant! Mama must have snuck past me at some point, laid her eggs and left. I check my milkweed almost daily and haven't seen anything so this was a delight. We're going to have bad storms and large hail tonight though, so I've brought this guy (or gal) in for the night and will take him back outside tomorrow, provided he hasn't chrysalized overnight. He's pretty big so it wouldn't surprise me, in which case, I'll keep him for the days it takes for him to become a beautiful butterfly.
PSA: Butterflies of all kinds are endangered due to pesticides and indiscriminate removal of their host plants. If you can, and not everyone can, but if you can, please use those things that rid us of the bad bugs but won't kill the beneficial ones.
Hiatus update: I can't believe it's the last week of June. I can remember thinking back in March "be careful, this period of craziness is going to be over soon and you'll want to be ready."
Well, I'm not really ready, although I've got my reading mojo back, thank all deities, and people seem to have found a new normal, mostly, but the uptick in infection rates tells me that I'm going to be isolating for a good long time. Get used to long hair and zoom, cause that's gonna be the way things are for a while.