A few days ago, I posted a picture of my son, Bryan, and his girlfriend, and it reminded me of another photo that I wanted to share. His girlfriend, Cayley, lives out in the country, and in their garden they have a large area of milkweed. In the summertime, Cayley braves the milkweed jungle and searches for caterpillars on the underside of the leaves. They have a large screened enclosure filled with branches that they then place the caterpillars in, and this way they can watch the transformation process from caterpillar to chrysalis to monarch butterfly.
Cayley’s mom is a kindergarten teacher, and she uses all of this as a teaching opportunity because when school starts in September, she takes in some of the monarch butterflies that have not yet been released and lets her students set them free. I was lucky enough to be at their house one day when some butterflies had just emerged from their cocoons, and Cayley, the Butterfly Whisperer, was holding one while it got used to its new wings. Of course I ran for my camera, while begging her not to move, and had fun playing with the macro setting to get this shot and many, many others. My models, both Cayley and the butterfly, were very patient! When the new butterfly was ready to embark on its new life, she then released it into the flower garden. I just love the detail on the wings that this picture shows. They are such beautiful creatures!