GROW O'ahu

Island Style Gardening and Plant-Based Living


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Our First Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Hatched!

Awhile back I posted that a new species of butterfly had found us. The Gulf Fritillary butterfly first appeared on our dining room light at dinner, then we saw the spiky caterpillar in our yard and then discovered a (strange!) chrysalis hanging on the shed.

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About 2 weeks ago another spiky caterpillar appeared and we put it in the “hatchery” to see if it would form a chrysalis and it did! This morning, it hatched. It’s so tiny compared to the monarch! But I love the wing patterns and it liked the flowers. πŸ™‚

See another bloggers comments on this butterfly in Hawaii here:Β http://hawaiinaturejournal.weebly.com/hawaii-plants-and-animals-in-the-backyard-and-beyond/butterfly-kisses

Wings are still wet, not flying yet.

Wings are still wet, not flying yet.

Um, did she just poop on me?? :-D

Um, did she just poop on me?? πŸ˜€

On the pentas flowers

On the pentas flowers

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Little People that Care

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There’s a whole lot of internet chatter on parenting. Most of it I don’t read. Sometimes an article will pop up in my inbox or newsfeed that has added some more fuel to so-called mommy wars. I don’t participate. I do like to take part in writing and activities that encourage, support, spread love and generally help humanity. Because my husband and I want to raise kids that care. And kids are watching how we grown ups are interacting with each other. Beyond all other traits, this one matters most to me.

How do you raise kids that give a shit? (About the world, and not just themselves?)

I don’t know if I have the formula or not, but our little people care about stuff. They have interests beyond what can be found on a screen. When my little guy wanted to save all the little worms we found in our cucumbers last year, I knew we were doing something right. Now he is an experienced butterfly farmer! He participates in all aspects of our little hatchery. Β He helps get the caterpillars and saves the butterflies with wet wings so the geckos won’t eat them. After he is finished examining the dried up chrysalis, he smashes them, because he is 5 after all.

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He grows things. Six weeks ago we mixed a bunch of flower seeds together in a cup and he sprinkled them in a spot of his choice in the garden.

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This is how it looks today!

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Six weeks ago this was a bare patch. My son threw some old seeds from the fridge out here πŸ˜€

 

Today we spent more than 3 hours just piddling around outside with bugs. We discovered a praying mantis in one garden and a new species of butterfly that is now frequenting our yard (Chinese Swallowtail.) It was really fun.

IMG_1117Now we have a very mobile 1 year old that is crawling circles around her mama! I let go of the worry of injury and mud and let her go in the garden today. She crawled, scooped, touched and covered herself in mud. And was so content, so happy and after 2 hours was so TIRED that she actually napped! πŸ™‚

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So get outside, friends. Even if it’s cold, windy or rainy wherever in this beautiful world you happen to be. Spending time outside with the kiddos fosters a sense of love and wonder for them and a whole heap of love and appreciation for me. We all win this one. ❀

 

 


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Crazy Caterpillar Lady

 

 

 

That’s me. Out in the yard or the carport every morning talking to my little critters. πŸ˜€

There’s been so much caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly activity in the lately! We rescued 20+ caterpillars from the crown flower and they are now all either in chrysalis form or have already hatched. Many of them leave the little mesh hamper I put them, as the one below, braving the terrain across the yard to go hang by another one, who has already made a chrysalis on the aloe plant.

 

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More Monarch Rescue Saga

wpid-20140731_114304.jpgI feel a bit like the dog who chases cars and then one day, actually catches one. Now what do I with it?

Our crown flower is HUGE. And I started noticing a lot of bird activity on the plant and I felt super mad all of a sudden. No! This is not a buffet for birds! Those little caterpillars are endangered and there’s plenty of other bugs, fruit and berries for you to eat over there in the forest. Get out of here!

So I took my scissors outside and started cutting leaves to rescue all the little caterpillars I could find. And today I found 7. There’s evidence of many more, but I’m afraid I was too slow.

They are in various stages of growth but I think in the next two weeks we should be releasing seven new butterflies! πŸ™‚

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Our countertop is now a hatchery! And if you ever wondered what do to with those old diskette boxes from the 90’s, here’s a plan:

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For earlier discussion on our mission to save as many monarch butterflies as possible:

https://greenboxgarden.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/saving-the-monarch/

https://greenboxgarden.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/monarch-rescue/