Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Must Be Crazy

Meet Burt.  He's a cabbage white butterfly.  In the summertime you see these little guys happily flitting around the garden.  Unfortunately many of them flit on over to my cabbage patch and their voracious, green prodigy munch their little caterpillar hearts out.  So what's with Burt? Well, he must have hitched a ride on some of my veggies last fall as a chubby green caterpillar. I don't have the heart to squish the caterpillars I find on the leaves, I just put them in the bag with the compost destined to go out, and figure they can fend for themselves there.  Well, this one must have escaped, and found a place in my kitchen to do what caterpillars do over the winter. How else can I explain the fact that I came home from work one day recently to find this little guy flying around the kitchen?   He certainly didn't come from the great outdoors since our January temperatures, especially this year, aren't really ideal for butterflies! Bummer Burt!  Not the best time for you to venture out of your cocoon!  (Or I guess, technically, your chrysalis, since you're a butterfly, not a moth.)  Anyway, despite Burt's poor sense of timing I suppose he picked a pretty good house in which to reside.   Currently he is hanging out in my basement with a catnip plant I have under lights (along with some of our potted herbs we over-winter and my lettuces).  Amazingly, the catnip's actually blooming!  And being the overly kind-hearted (aka eccentric??) soul I've also been putting out some butterfly food (1 tsp sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup of water) for old Burt.  Luckily (for me, not for Burt) there's no Bertha around, so I won't be seeing green caterpillars on my soon-to-be started cabbage and broccoli seedlings!  But I'm hoping that my Burt care-taking might win me some cabbage-white brownie points, and maybe they'll leave my cabbages alone this year! 

1 comment:

Jeannine from Pittsburgh said...

Sadly, this morning when I went to give Burt his daily sugar water I discovered that he'd passed away. Amazingly, I actually teared up when I picked up his little lifeless form, all the while yelling at myself: "It's an insect!! It's a garden pest" But the teary side of me said " . . . but, it's Burt!" Oh, the power of names! Bon Voyage, Burt! I hope you're now fluttering around flowers in the sunshine of butterfly heaven!