A friend gifted the Bohemian a Crown Flower tree for his birthday last April. Not only is it known for its flowers, which can be used in making leis, but it is a host plant for the precious Monarch butterfly.
In the last week, we’ve watched a multitude of caterpillars come to munch the leaves, and have even discovered one cocoon already hanging. The lines along the outside of its wrapping, truly glisten golden in the sunlight. Incredible!
We’ve learned that it’s normal for the caterpillars to devour the whole tree. Once they’ve nourished themselves, made their cocoons, and evolved to fly away as butterflies, the tree will sprout new leaves again.
Knowing that the Monarch butterfly is at risk of extinction (only about 30 million are left on the planet), we are happy to provide a safe haven for them to proliferate.
I delight in the wonder and mystery of how they have discovered us. On a little island (just a speck in the Pacific), our solitary Crown Flower tree sits in a pot, tucked far in the corner of our yard. Yet, now it has become a magnet for these voracious munchers.
Yesterday, my Word Problems post referenced Alice in Wonderland. Well, here’s the caterpillar in real life. Far from lazing, these plump little crawlers are on a mission to transform, in an alchemical process that will take them to new heights. We are thrilled to be the spectators.