A couple of Saturdays ago, I did the right wrong thing for the right reason
I woke up in the morning at 5:00, as usual, by command of the cats. As usual, I fed the cats, changed their litter, and brushed them, as I do every morning. I went to check on the garden after last night’s storms. I noticed the milkweed was teetering dangerously. so I propped its base up with a brick. We are growing milkweed to raise monarch butterflies. While I was doing this, I noticed fat orange beetle larvae on the milkweed. I plinked all I could off see off of the leaves, and embarked on my walk. I planned to brag to my sleeping wife about my productive morning after she awoke.
There are 16 ways to walk around my block in the morning, depending on which side of the road I walk on and which direction I walk in. I just took up walking around the block as a way of getting a little exercise in the morning while clearing my head. Being the suburbs, the walk covers the better part of a mile. Just long enough to move through as many thoughts as I walked to think, to sequential thoughts,to no thoughts and then to free association. I was looking at the holes in a maple leaf on the last leg of the walk when it occurred to me:
those were Monarch larvae.
I calmed myself for the last hundred yards of the walk with the assurance that I did not land a killing “plink” on all of the caterpillars. Some of them had even dropped off defensively. All I needed to do was find them at the base of the milkweed and put them back on the leaves. Where they would surely continue their feeding. When I got home, I went straight to the backyard with a furrowed brow and began hunting for caterpillars at the base of the Milkweed. I put about ten back on the plant. My wife was elated to hear that we had Monarch caterpillars at last.
We even went outside to fawn over the plump orange worms, imprinting our pride and hopes upon them
The next day my wife looks up Monarch Caterpillars and finds out what we have are Milkweed Beetles, not Monarchs. I was right to plink them off in the first place. But I cannot bring myself to go out and kill them just yet. I was worried about them for 10 minutes, after all.
(cute little bastards)