For the past three years, we've stocked our garden with plants that butterflies love. For instance, monarch butterflies prefer a specific type of milkweed in which to lay their eggs. The monarch caterpillars feed on the leaves of this plant on their way to becoming butterflies. The first two years, we got monarch butterfly babies, but this year nothing. Maybe it was the summer drought, but we only saw a handful of butterflies the whole summer.
Finally, last month we started seeing butterflies. First, there were the variegated fritillaries. Then came buckeyes. We kept our eyes open for caterpillars, but none were sighted. We figured that we had been passed by.
Yesterday, the Artist's Muse called me out to the porch. There was a butterfly resting on the screen; a very rare occurrence. I suspect that it was a newborn, on its first flight, trying out its new wings. When I approached it with my camera, it didn't fly away. Its wings were closed, and I prodded it a few times until it showed those beautiful buckeye wings, with designs that look like eyes to scare away predators.
We named it Buckminster. Bucky for short.
And now he's ready for his screen test.