At the end of April, we were very busy unloading part of the greenhouse in order to attend the annual native plant sale at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton. There were many larval (caterpillar) plants in crates to be carried out to the back of the trailer and truck.
Floating through all this chaos were 2 painted lady butterflies. How on earth they came out of hibernation and found our greenhouse through the cold and rainy weather of April was a mystery to me. They immediately found their larval plant, pearly everlasting, to lay eggs all over.
In May, we saw the familiar webbing of caterpillars all over the pearly everlasting and knew we were in luck. Today, all 50 plants are spent and we had to transplant 20 + caterpillars to new plants. This will be their last big feeding and then they will crawl off into the garden and hang. Later they will emerge as our beautiful painted ladies.
How wonderful we were able to share a life’s moment with them. And so the cycle of life continues.