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.

Romans 6:4

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.

Colossians 2:2

for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Galatians 3:27