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Like pretty much everyone else reading this morning's paper, I recalled the morning when so much changed not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.
 
So, a trip to the compost pile was pretty comforting. The bugs and worms were still doing their business, milkweed beetles were doing what they do best: eat and reproduce. Actually I don't know if it's what they do best, but it is what they do!


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I checked out a patch of milkweed and found more monarch caterpillars than I've ever had in the past. I counted eight in all: some clearly closer to their final transformation into butterflies than the rest.

They remain caterpillars for several weeks after hatching from their eggs, but go through instars (molts) before they find a place to hang down, curl up (kind of a "J" shape) and then settle in to become a butterfly.

This is the last generation of caterpillars for the season. When they get their wings, they will be the ones to make the long trip to Mexico; a place none of them has ever been.


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Close by was another treasure. One of the spicebush leaves was curled shut.

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A quick look inside revealed the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar. It's hard to imagine that this green guy will become a beautiful black and blue butterfly. 

  

Seeing how nature continues her cycle of life, is comforting. To know that we are all on this little planet together, doing our best to appreciate it, is about as good as it gets on a day like today.
 


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