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Over winter a caterpillar from a monarch butterfly on our Swan plant slowly got fatter and fatter, eventually turning into a chrysalis about five weeks ago. Following a gale it got blown away and the umbilical chord was broken. I replaced this with a length of cotton and superglued it to the ceiling in my den. Eventually, on the last day of winter the butterfly emerged and I'm trying to teach it how to fly. It is very weak and not keen to show its wings, but it is very stubborn to have survived this long. Here is it on an ornament in the garden.

Deigh

 

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Teaching a butterfly to fly? Is that kinda like teaching geese to swim? A few years ago , I hatched 6 goose eggs in an incubator. They all grew and developed just fine.  They thought of me as "Mother Goose", because I was the only "mother" they'ed ever known.  Then the time came when they had to swim. And I worried about this because, usually, water fowl learn how to do this from their mother, but I couldn't do that. I put about 6 in. of water in a kiddie pool, and put the baby geese in it. I stood beside the pool, ready to spring into action if any showed any sign of distress. Instinct. It kicked in, and all did beautifully.   Becky

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Both of your stories make me happy. Deigh thank you for sharing yet another fascinating life story of the Monarch Butterflies. Looking forward to updates. Becky your story about geese brought me back to my childhood. When I was young, I'd say younger than 10 my mom gave each of my brothers and sisters (4 all together) there very own baby goose for Easter. We loved them and watched them get bigger and enjoy swimming and dipping in for a bath lol. We used to put them in our bathtub (probably a good way to convince one of us to thoroughly clean the bathroom and tub from mom lol. We had a cold snap and the baby geese were outside in their home when temps dropped below freezing. We were all so upset to find 3 of the 4 had passed away that night. Just one survived and we coddled it. He grew to be a beautiful white goose but he became very unfriendly. :grumpy:He would wait until one of us was kneeling or down low where he could get out necks and head and he would run and bite there. We, well I know I did, became afraid of Pretty Boy (his name) and so he lived the rest of his life on my grandparents farm away from the house. His demeanor stayed the same. Anyone who ventured to the other side of the fence was on the look out for Pretty Boy. He lived quite a long time. It's a great memory.

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He looks beautiful Deigh.

Good work. 

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Hi Tracy, my family kept a pair of geese as guard birds for our chooks (chickens).  My little brother was distraught after a dog got into our chook yard and killed all the hens he'd raised from babies. So we got a pair of Emden geese after that, who made the most unholy racket whenever predators got close to the chook yard  As he got older the gander got more and more vicious the only person ahead of him in the pecking order was my dad who used to go into the yard and grab the gander by the neck and hold him so that us kids could get in and feed the chooks.  While he was being held that way he'd do his best to break dads knees with his wings. We didn't loose goslings to cold as they slept under their mum and dad but we did lose quite a few to crows and one clutch all drowned before we worked out that you have to leave a plank in their paddle pool as they can't get out up a steep edge, and will just swim around until they die of exhaustion/cold or drown, their mum doesn't know how to help them.  The crows were the worst they would swoop in and grab a baby bird then carry it up high and drop it, then repeat until it died, there were a few we were able to rescue after the first fall, but mostly there was no one near enough to intervene in time. We'd come home from school and rush down to the yard to count each day.

 

Good luck with teaching the butterfly to fly Deigh!

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Heather childhood trauma from gosling throwing crows! I wouldn't have known about the paddle pool plank either...just found out right now. :sorry: Thankfully, even though sad sometimes, things like that bring back that inner child. We never knew how special those ages were. Just carefree...:happy:. Deigh I'm rooting for you and little Archibald!

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Me,too, Deigh, what Tracy said. Please don't forget your camera the next time you take Archie out to see it he'll fly. I wanna see the little guy spread his wings, and take flight.  Becky

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I am a huge nature lover, my small back garden is set up as a bird sanctuary. Reading your story warmed my heart and made my day.  Thank you so much!

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Deigh whatever happened with little Archibald? 🙂😃

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