On sunny summer days after rain, we may see butterflies gathering around the edges of mud puddles in nature. Have you ever wondered why? Butterflies get most of their nutrition from flower nectar but they need moisture. They also re-mineralize their bodies by bathing in mud puddles which are rich in salt and minerals.
If you wish to enjoy the sight of butterflies in your garden this season, help them by providing a butterfly puddling station. You can easily make it yourself! For this quick project you can use a bird bath which you may already have or just a larger-size terra cotta saucer with some gravel, and a couple of rocks on which the butterflies can land to sip mineralized water. If you do not have a terra cotta saucer at hand, use a plastic saucer. Either way, the saucer should have a raised edge so that butterflies can land easily. Fill the saucer with sand and a bit of manure compost, mix it together, and add water until the sand is wet. Place the saucer either in a bird bath, on a large flat stone or on the soil. Make sure to refill with water when the sand gets dry. Watch a step-by-step video on how to make butterfly puddling station.
Butterfly Puddling Station
Also, on the top of your puddling station (for example, at one corner), you can place another smaller-size saucer with fruits (ripe or overripe) such as banana, sliced apples, oranges or other. Butterflies and other insects will love it.
Moving into our fourth month of the COVID calamity, we are all adjusting as best as we can to this current reality. It has not been easy and continues to uproot us from all that was previously known as ‘normal’. Some interesting other observations that I have made over the last several weeks:
people never seen before in the neighbourhood, out for daily walks
so many children, running, yelling, laughing, playing outdoors with balls, skipping ropes, on bicycles, skateboards, inline skates, trampolines, in backyard tents
impromptu singing with or without musical instruments out on the street and in backyards
spontaneous gatherings of neighbours (10 max!) in housing project courtyards, home driveways, backyards, even in garages transformed into living rooms
cyclists enjoying the safety and freedom from cars on the roads
nature breathing a sigh of relief from air, water and land pollution
the sudden realization that EVERY job has value and people showing appreciation for workers everywhere
people connecting with each other more than ever before and discovering shared interests
more people gardening than ever before
people discovering the joy of baking their own bread and the pleasure of other baking and cooking
people reading more than ever
people learning all kinds of new skills in different areas
more kindnesses freely shared among family, neighbours and strangers
people taking the time to reflect on what really matters
people realizing that maybe we don’t need a lot of the ‘stuﬀ’ and ‘practices’ to which we had become accustomed
Maybe this is an opportunity to rethink how we’ve been ‘doing things’.