A few years ago my children and I studied various bugs that we could find in our yard. I hoped this would help them get over their fears of bugs. I’m not sure it helped all that much, but for the past couple of summers, my kids and I have been capturing caterpillars and “raising” them to butterfly stage. It is a fun activity that gets us outdoors and exploring the nature around us.
Last year I had planted some herbs that I had read were host plants to swallowtail butterflies. By the end of the summer we raised a generation of black swallowtail butterflies. I am hoping we can do that again in a few weeks. (I spotted a swallowtail in the garden a few days ago.)
So far this year we have been raising and releasing cabbage white butterflies. With social distancing and events being cancelled this summer, I tried planting a little container garden in my backyard, but I have not been very successful at growing food. The broccoli bolted and the cauliflower did not produce, so I decided we should see what kind of caterpillars we had by raising them to butterfly or moth stage.
I started by transplanting a broccoli plant to a smaller pot that would fit in our netted butterfly habitat. Having a living host plant in the habitat works better and is easier to maintain than constantly clipping and providing plant leaves. All the caterpillars on the broccoli plant were green, so I wasn’t sure what they were. We had a few moths and one butterfly from the first grouping.
Now that I know which ones turn into the cabbage butterfly, I add them to the butterfly habitat. I throw the moth caterpillars out for the birds. Every few days I go out and pick the caterpillars off of the rest of the garden plants. We raised a handful of cabbage butterflies on the single broccoli plant until there was nothing left.
After we let the last one go, I asked my daughter if we were done with the cabbage white or if she wanted to raise a few more. She said she wanted to raise a few more. Now we have one of the cauliflower plants in our butterfly habitat. We are waiting for their transformation to be complete, so we can release them.
I think the change a caterpillar undergoes during metamorphosis is truly fascinating and awesome. This is just one of the ways I see God’s intricate design in nature and a parallel to our faith.
We are like the caterpillar and the butterfly when we accept Jesus as our Savior.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.