As the day begins I receive a note on my desk:
Please call Kathy Cole aka “The Butterfly Lady” — she would like to bring butterflies in for us to see.
This sparked a curiosity, I had never heard of someone raising butterflies. After talking to Kathy we agree on a date and she arrives at Primrose with several butterflies flying around in her homemade netted cage. The visit sparks lots of interest, and with Kathy’s blessing we agree to start a Monarch Waystation.
Kathy gives us a list of plants necessary to attract the butterflies. Turns out our local nursery has everything we need, they even pot the plants for us.
After much planning and thought, our garden is ready for official certification. We receive that by mail and now we are well on our way to saving the Monarchs.
A visit from Kathy Cole, our friend, teacher and mentor, brings many residents out to see what all the excitement is about. She educates us with a brief discussion on the life cycle of the butterfly. “Why should we be concerned about the butterfly?” Turns out we are eliminating their habitat with all our pesticides and weed killers.
On the next visit Kathy brings several beautiful monarch butterflies. She explains that now is the window of time that the butterflies need to be released, and with all our preparation our garden is ready for this special event.
Each resident is given a butterfly to release; most of the butterflies take flight immediately, leaving all of us to wonder if they will ever come back to enjoy our beautiful garden.
But one butterfly would not leave its resident partner Ethel King; her butterfly held on to her like a memory you never want to forget. She later said, “When my sister passed away I always said she turned into a beautiful butterfly.”
There is a principle in nature we know for sure each spring and summer they arrive, their beauty is seen by all, and then like a beautiful memory the monarch is gone. We look forward to watching the garden in anticipation for our new friends to return.
by Lori Bottomley
Life Enrichment Coordinator
To find out more about the beautiful pastimes at Primrose, please contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!