Over the weekend we were in the garden and Bracken discovered a little butterfly in the water. (Or moth? Searched online, but haven’t been able to find what kind it is.) He saved it from the water and it crawled around on his hand and arm. He was delighted with his little friend. One of the wings was broken, but once the wings dried out it was able to fly a tiny bit. Bracken played with the butterfly outside for some time and then we let him bring it inside for a bit. (We didn’t know how much longer it had, really, and he was enjoying it all so much.) I told him his butterfly would probably be happiest if it could go back out to the garden, but he really wanted to bring it with him for nap time and his dad said that was fine. I watched as Bracken took a wooden dollhouse bed, laid down a piece of wool for a blanket, covered it in little flowers he’d picked from the garden, and set the butterfly down in it’s bed. It was the loveliest bed for a butterfly I’d ever seen (and also happened to be the first.) His butterfly didn’t end up living long, but he wasn’t as upset as I thought he might be, he was pretty matter of fact about it.
He’s asked us all kinds of questions about keeping butterflies as pets and wondered if he could feed them worms, since he did start a worm farm after all and his chickens like them so much. We’ve been enjoying learning more about butterflies: they do not eat, they get their nourishment from drinking. They mostly feed on nectar from flowers, so I told Bracken that he had a good idea to make that bed of flowers. Then we talked about how they like living flowers in the garden, though, and they like being outside. Bracken’s response and solution to that was to plant flowers in pots in our bedroom, he’s still clearly set on the pet idea. I can’t help but smile.
We already had plans to plant more flowers in the garden this year. What are your favorite plants to grow that the butterflies love?