Kids Organic Butterfly Garden

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Butterflies are magical creatures with gossamer wings and vibrant colors. Aristotle was the first to describe the life cycle of the butterfly. Early Greeks used butterfly imagery to represent the human soul emerging from the chrysalis of the body, transforming from a lowly worm on the wings of love becoming a new creature and flying into the heavens. The caterpillars wiggle and dance out of their old skins, miraculously becoming a pupa and forming a hard shell called a chrysalis. Totally transforming in fourteen days, the adult butterflies release a liquid and pop out of their shell to sun bathe, then spread wide their wings and soar over the plants looking for nectar. Butterflies need the morning sun to inspire their flight, and so they choose to roost at night in a protected spot under a leaf in a thicket or in a tree to take advantage of the sunrise. In the past, as humanity has worked to dominate the natural world, many species of butterflies have disappeared. Creating a garden that welcomes butterflies is one small way kids can help preserve them. Butterflies like a shallow source of water, wind protection and shelter, and a sunny zone of bright colored organic flowers for fragrance, nectar, and food. Kids can make journals and record their butterfly sightings, with notes, pictures, and photographs on plants and butterfly stages, with the dates of the first and last sightings of the season. Each butterfly species has an organic native plant they favor. Painted Ladies eat thistles, Monarchs eat milkweed, and a host of butterflies love clover, butterfly bush, nettles and various herbs. Butterflies prefer flat, open faced flowers that provide a good spot for resting and feeding or deep throated flowers that hold abundant nectar. Kids can attract butterflies to their organic veggie garden by planting the flowers they are seeking and help insure future generations of butterflies.

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