The Butterfly Effect

I’m reposting this because it is so timely.  I hope you take the $5.00 butterfly challenge grow out some butterflies!  Enjoy

Aster has been my buddy in the garden this summer – especially when it came to spotting butterflies. We also heard of too many tails of birds eating the larvae, so decided to provide protection. We set up a safe haven for the Tiger Swallowtail.  With $5.00, Aster purchased a mesh trashcan from Target.  We added a stick and a parsley plant.  As we found cats (caterpillars) on the parsley or fennel in the garden, we transferred them into our haven.  A couple of plants later, several larvae later, we had chrysalis.  Today, Aster’s first butterfly emerged.  Below is his photo journey.

Aster spying butterfly…

Aster watching butterfly emerge…


Butterfly sunning…

Butterfly in the garden…

Butterfly Effect…on a little boy!

Story and photos Helen Yoest
Gardening WithConfidence


  1. May 5, 2009 @ 8:43 am · EditPriceless! I love this and what a great investment this $5 had. Excellent job and so glad you shared this with us!

  2. May 5, 2009 @ 8:47 am · EditWhat a wonderful experience for Aster! Thank you for taking us along on his butterfly adventure.

  3. Kerry said

    May 5, 2009 @ 8:59 am · EditHow totally cool! And what a great way to teach kids the importance of butterflies.

  4. wendy said

    May 5, 2009 @ 9:11 am · EditAwesome project. Swallowtails are beautiful creatures. We had a bunch at this time last year. I’ve only seen a few this year. Hoping they’ll come back.

  5. Dave said

    May 5, 2009 @ 9:21 am · EditNeat! That would be really fun for kids to see.

  6. Jane McKeon said

    May 5, 2009 @ 9:38 am · EditYou’re my kind of girl, Helen! I’ve done this very same thing with my kids, but with an “official” screened butterfly habitat product. Great idea using the Target waste basket! Why didn’t I think of that?!!


1 Comment »

  1. We raised black swallowtail butterflies in jars when I was a little girl, many years ago. I remember once that a caterpillar got out of the jar and climbed up the kitchen curtain to weave its chrysalis. We watched that one pretty anxiously so we could make sure we took it outside to pump its wings up once the butterfly emerged. It’s very interesting to see the growth from a little tiny black and red ‘worm’ to a speckled green fat caterpillar chomping on parsley leaves — and poking out orange horns with a particular stink if annoyed. Great memories.

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