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Green Guy and my Petunia leaves

I’ve learned that caring for plants involve deadheading: pinching of flowered stems to encourage new growth. In the past, I would’ve only watered and fertilized the plants hoping for the best outcome. Fear of harming and ultimately killing it stopped me from doing anything else.

β€œA garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.” ~ May Sarton

This summer I’ve been more active deadheading my Petunia plant, cutting back on the Lantana plant (even with flowers are blooming on them), pruning regularly, and adding fertilizer (by mixing it with the soil) to plants. I used to sprinkle powder fertilizer on top of the soil and that would turn all white and yucky. After 2 years of that I now mix it in with the existing soil. As my kids would say, “duh!”

It’s progress in my book: I found that something was chomping up my Petunia leaves. Trails of half-eaten leaves and holes in them. Pinching off those leaves led me to a fuzzy green thing enjoying an all-you-can-eat salad bar.

Just last month we finished a butterfly project; those caterpillars were ordered from an online nature store. To find one in the wild was even better. Kids dug out the butterfly habitat from the garage, washed out the red dye (meconium, leftover dye from its wings) from previous butterflies, and finally transferred Green Guy into its new abode. Ellis spruced up its space with leaves, flowers, and sticks.

Here is a picture of our fuzzy friend, named Green Guy.

First meeting Green Guy, the voracious eater
First profile pic after deciding to observe it in the butterfly habitat

Next day it was nowhere to be found in the habitat. Even though we inspected everything inside it, the Green Guy was missing. I thought it disintegrated from the outside heat from the black dots on the bottom of the habitat. I didn’t realize those were droppings instead.

I forgot about the caterpillar and walked past the habitat when Elliot noticed a green jelly thing on the white net. He was only hiding! Green guy had not zapped into black dots as assumed.

It’s now back in its personal quarters and feeding voraciously on leaves and getting hydrated from a damp paper towel.

If it goes through the whole life cycle and transforms into a butterfly, that’s going to be a major milestone for us as butterfly keepers.

But that can change anytime depending on uncontrollable factors, so we proceed with cautious expectations. I did a brief photo shoot to capture its features in detail and document growth.

Tired of the paparazzi

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures and thank you for stopping by my blog! Happy Thursday and God bless.

Categories: Container Gardening Nature observations and thoughts

Tagged as:

singlikewildflowers

Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. My posts revolve around the beauty of nature, homeschooling adventures, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and life as a daydreamer and nature observer. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!

16 replies

    1. Hungry and voracious caterpillar! He’s getting a bit sluggish now, so I think he may be entering the next metamorphosis stage. We’ll see.
      Friend, is your homeschooling starting up next week? What did you decide to do? If it’s too personal, no need to answer. Curious that’s all.
      Whatever you are doing, I hope you and your kids have a great and productive and happy start to the new school year. How can time pass this quickly? One moment it was beginning of summer, and now it’s a new school year.
      Have a great weekend and take care!

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      1. I hope Mr. Green Guy does well! Looking forward to seeing your updates!

        We ended up withdrawing from SSCS. 😒 It worked out because we also decided to sell our house and move to Idaho! 😬🀯
        We are leaving in a little over a week. I’m super stressed with packing etc. πŸ“¦ I’m not going to start school until mid-September. Nothing like starting off 4 weeks behind schedule πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

        Happy back to school to you and your kiddos! πŸ“šπŸ₯°

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      2. Idaho?? That’s a huge move. Lots of people are moving over there. What a great move and new experiences.
        Take it easy with homeschooling. There’s learning that goes on everyday. But the packing sounds stressful. Hang in there mama!! Just know you are doing so much and that you deserve rest. Don’t burn out. Praying for stamina and peace and safe travels and adjusting well. β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m sorry Esther – that was a while ago. My friend/neighbor Marge and I both got Monarch Butterfly kits and we were hopeful … but it wasn’t meant to be as we ran out of milkweed so had to give the set-up to a woman who had a whole yard filled with milkweed.

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      1. No, I decided that didn’t work so well as they ate continuously and Marge had to get milkweed from the side of an expressway to feed them, then we turned them over to a woman who does releases all the time. She even takes the chrysallis, hanging from their twigs, camping with the family in case they emerge while she is gone. She photographs each one.

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