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Project to Grow Painted Lady Butterflies for Release in Garden

July 10, 2013

Anyone who has spent anytime at Springwell, is sure to notice the community’s interest in nature. A stroll down the Main Hall will undoubtedly find a few residents watching the finch as they flutter around their glass enclosed home. This goes on from early morning until the evening hours…someone is always in front of the cage admiring the antics of the playful birds in their habitat. One resident, Dorothy McDowell, who visits the birds on a daily basis commented that they definitely have distinct personalities!

Then there is the garden club, a group of residents who work to beautify the Overlook entrance by the breezeway. Nell Crawford and Reba Babst manage the planting, watering and weeding of this area. Fran Saybolt assisted with the planting in early spring. This is a labor of love, especially when the weather turns hot and the flowers beds need weeding and watering. Everyone who enters Springwell, gets to enjoy the beauty resulting from their efforts.

The beautiful Butterfly Garden on the front lawn is the showpiece of Frank Simmonds. In the very early spring, before anyone else is even thinking about gardening, Frank is checking out his plot to determine what needs to be done and getting a jump start on its maintenance. He decides on plants that will attract butterflies and tries to make sure that something is always in bloom in the garden. It seems to be working! On a recent trip out with the walking group, a number of butterflies were visible on the plants and in the surrounding area.

With all this interest in nature, the decision to raise butterflies was an easy one. The 10 caterpillars arrived on Monday, June 17th in 2 small cups containing food. The residents watched as they ate and grew in size. Eventually, they will attach themselves with a silk thread to the disk at the top of the cup….this is when it gets exciting! Each caterpillar’s body will turn into a chrysalis. It is at this stage that all the chrysalis (similar to a cocoon) are gently transferred to their new hanging habitat; this will be displayed in the main hall. Please join us in watching as the ugly caterpillars transforms into beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies.


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