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Monarch Caterpillars

For a long time my artwork has centered itself around the mantra “Let the World Entertain You” meaning that you don’t have to travel for adventure or look far for something wonderful. If you’re looking with the right eyes you can find incredible things that exist right under your nose or in your backyard.

For a few years my aunt has been collecting Monarch butterfly eggs and watching them grow. Ever since, I‘ve been interested in trying it too! This year, I did! I had no idea the amount of fascination that it would provide! It’s amazing to get to see one of nature's most epic metamorphosis happen up close, but I also really loved having something to return to day after day.

So many of the things that I love doing and make my life rich provide instant gratification - weeding in my garden, baking, making a drawing, going for a walk, spending time with friends. There is work and time involved in each of these things - but for the most part they make you feel good right away. It’s easy to forget that the things you have to be patient for (that take longer, are difficult, more tedious, or take hard work) often come with an even bigger reward!

I had built myself a window into a whole new world. It was exciting to go out every morning and see what changes had happened and see how they had grown. It was enough to sit for a while and just watch them move and eat. I often think about the monarchs migration each year as you see them appear in the summer and then vanish in the fall. To watch up close gave me a bigger appreciation of all that has to happen to make their annual journey possible. It is an immense amount of change for one small creature. Watching the final transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis was one of the most phenomenal things I’ve had the chance to see.

The process made me considered my own transformations and wondered what would happen if I looked in the mirror with the same open mind as I did watching these caterpillars grow? I also wondered what other habits I could grow - what else can I return to day after day - week after week? What could I learn or become because of it?


Finding and returning to a window into the world is an opportunity to understand something other than yourself - a new system, intelligence, organization, culture. It can also be a way to find new curiosities or interests.

What could you return to and observe day after day? What would you like to spend time with and learn more about? What would you like to practice every day to become better at? What will you develop your curiosity for?


To learn more about the decline in Monarch butterflies that migrate between the Midwest and Mexico check out this series of videos by a Michigan science teacher. There are 5 videos on why and how to raise monarch caterpillars and release them back into the wild.

1. Finding Eggs

2. Hatching Eggs

3. Caring for Caterpillars

4. The Chrysalis

5. Releasing the Adults

The monarch has become a symbol in many different cultures - read more about the different meanings in different cultures.


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