Simple Saturday: There's Something Alive Out There

 Okay, Tripod and I have ventured out into the backyard with tremendous trepidation.

My not-so-brave pup is giving a three-legged point toward the over-grown milkweed that spreads out as wide as a Volkswagen and as tall as a corn stalk. (Well...that might be a little exaggeration. But...hey...I'm a Texan. We're free to make a Tall Tale out of just about anything, aren't we?) At any rate, the milkweed plant is plenty big, as are the other plants in my backyard butterfly garden.

Tripod's adamant. Something is happening in the garden. He's not loosing his point until I find out what's going on amongst the blossoms and the leaves.

And what do you know? Lo and behold...who do I spot but THE hungry caterpillar!  Eric Carle ain't got nothing on this guy. Nothing!

Y'all, Tripod and I spent the better part of a sunny Simple Saturday just watching this fellow destroy milkweed leaves. Destroy, I say.

Monarchs love milkweed. Maybe more than I love chocolate. They lay their eggs it. Their caterpillar selves chow down on all the leaves later to form cocoons in what's left of the plant. Cool, huh?

I'll keep you posted when Mr. Nibbles transforms into a lovely chrysalis such as the one pictured to the left.  If you look really, really closely at this picture, you can see the faint outlines of the gorgeous Monarch butterfly wing patterns through the thin, green chrysalis casing. Isn't that the coolest thing ever?

 And...the most incredible thing about these cocoons is the iridescent row of stunning gold beading. Honestly, my dear friend, the gold accents in these things don't even look real. It's like, how in the world did Nature create something as stunning as this? Really.

No wonder Tripod was antsy. of the thrilling stages of metamorphosis were going down in the backyard butterfly garden. Can you blame him?

This Simple Saturday was just about as perfect as a Simple Saturday could get. My only regret is that you weren't here to share the excitement with us.