In late summer, my children and I search for caterpillars. The milkweed is thigh-high at this time, with fragrant mauve flower clusters swelling into rotund seed pods. When we see leaves that are missing great chunks of green flesh, we peer underneath of them, hoping to find a fat yellow-, black-, and white-striped caterpillar hiding there. When we do find one, we bring it home and place it, along with a good handful of its milkweed host, in our butterfly jar, a bulbous vase of blown glass, to complete its cycle of eating and growing and transforming into a monarch butterfly.
So begins my essay "Monarch Summers" which was published last fall in the journal Snowy Egret. JUST in case you didn't order a copy of that print-only journal, you can now read the piece at the website Nature Writing. I'd love to hear what you think.