first day of summer

I have to admit something to you. I've been a little nervous about this whole summer thing. This summer, after a year of all-day-every-day preschool, full time Mama potter/museum educator, is all mama and little boy. I have a game plan, but I'm afraid that it's going to be a LOT of "Mama, can I watch TV?"

This morning, at least, we managed something else. Our neighbor "grows" all of the butterflies for the butterfly house at the Memphis Zoo. She has hundreds of milkweed, parsley, and fennel plants in her garden, plus a multitude of other host plants I can't even name. And I'm a plant person! Last week we found a monarch caterpillar in our yard, so we fed it two milkweed plants and watched its metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly.

At breakfast, little boy noticed that the chrysalis was no longer green, but that we could see the wing pattern through the transparent walls. An hour later, our butterfly buddy was out! We took him outside to observe him as he dried off, warmed up, and flew away. We looked closely and made notes in our "summer notebook." My favorite observations are: "his eyes are purple." and "Its body is a little soft." Then little boy got a bit too close:

"Mama, get it off! get it off!" But oh, not before I could get a picture or two! Our little butterfly climbed from his milkweed perch to some red hair, then to my finger, and clung to some blades of garlic chives until I moved him to the garden for more support and shelter (rain has been threatening all morning), and privacy. I hope to our art on this afternoon by drawing a picture of the caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly together.