Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homeschool Thursday: Life Cycles

Every late summer/early fall we collect monarch caterpillars (pics from previous hunts here).  Some years this requires a bit of effort, and other times like this year, we just spot them crawling along the ground.  Some years we find them in the end of September, this year it was still July.  (I've been thinking a lot about  phenology of a place and the changes we're noticing in nature's timeline here in Midcoast Maine, surely a topic for another post).  This will be our 4th year catching, observing, and releasing monarchs--though we've never (yet!) observed the egg part of the cycle.

Juniper age 3, with monarch caterpillar face paint


Every year it is the same process, yet we still get just as excited about seeing the chrysalis turn black, and feel that catch in our breaths the moment when we first notice the butterfly has emerged.
Cycles of all kinds are fascinating to me and their rhythms whether life cycle or seasonal ground me.  As my kids grow it is a true measure of the passing of time to experience these same rituals year after year each time through new, older pairs of eyes.

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