Ursula’s Garden and Black Butterflies

Written by Jerry Pierre

The following blog post is a story from the mother of a good friend of mine at Merrimack College. I would like to call her by her real name, which is Ursula, for this. Ursula has a backyard with a lot of plants and flowers, which are bound to attract creatures such as Butterflies. Last year she planted an herb garden in pots in the months of May and June of 2020. While planting these herb gardens she included herbs such as dill, parsley, and white sage. Soon July would arrive, and she would see a black butterfly flying around the pots.

Now, the eggs of these butterflies are tiny and light green, and it’s very rare for them to survive and become caterpillars because of predators. Also it was pretty surprising for Ursula to see the eggs grow up in potted plants and not in a bigger garden. So at the end of their growing stage, the Caterpillar based on its colors will become an “Asterius” or a Black Butterfly as it’s called. This wouldn’t be the only time an Asterius would make an appearance in Ursula’s garden though.

In August of 2020 Ursula would find a green and black caterpillar on her white sage plant on her deck outside. She would name her new Caterpillar friend “Guilbert.” Her kids would ostracize her for having Guilbert as a pet and for having them greet the animal. The Caterpillar would start changing, and would eat for about a week, and would thread a chrysalis as well as Cocoon for 2.5 weeks. Finally, the chrysalis would turn black on the morning of August 21, 2020, and the process of Eclosion would occur. This is a long process in the development of a Butterfly, as it can take up to an hour for their wings to strengthen. Fortunately, the butterfly would finally sprout its wings and make its place in Ursula’s garden. Based on the wing colors, the butterfly was a female.

In conclusion, I think Ursula’s experience teaches us a lesson we shouldn’t forget. It’s always the little things that matter. Having a butterfly grow in your garden may not mean much to others, but I think Ursula naming it and making her children greet it is very telling about how something so little can bring so much joy. I think this happiness is the essence of what gardening is.

Why Compost is Crucial in our Garden

Composting is a very crucial and beautiful piece of art in our gardens. This is something that I was personally extremely drawn to and wanted to take the opportunity to learn more about it. To start us off what is compost? From the article Composting At Home they stated that “Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away, and could be composted instead. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.” Compost is something that is available to everyone and can be done in your own home or even apartment! Not only can composting be a positive attribution to our world but also a new hobby for you to enjoy as we face our worldwide circumstances right now. With that being said we are able to reduce massive amounts of waste in our world with this quite simple task. Composting our leftover foods is an amazing way to make your personal contribution to nature and use what you already have at your fingertips. I personally find this astonishing that with just a simple task how much of an impact on the environment you can make. With just seven easy and brainless steps you will be on your way to composting as well. Attached at the bottom is a link on specifics to how you can achieve your attribution towards your garden. I hope that this inspires you to join me and my classmates in beginning a new hobby and adding positivity to our environment. 

Written by Colby Paolo

https://www.leduc.ca/composting/7-easy-steps-composting

An example of what a compost will look like!
How your compost will look in the beginning.
Compost success!

Carver Cranberries

Throughout my childhood, I was often at my grandparents house in Carver, Massachusetts. At their house, they had many acres of land that my sisters and I would always love to explore. We would ride the golf cart my grandfather owned around all day to find something new to discover. On top of all the land they had, there was also about seven cranberry bogs. Every year, up until I was around fourteen or fifteen, my entire family would help harvest the cranberries.

My dog, Gronk, at my grandparents’ cranberry bogs. Credit: Pamela Snow.

Cranberries are harvested through a process called flooding. Each of the bogs is entirely flooded with around 15-18 inches of water the night before they are set to be harvested. Once the day came, my family would use these devices called water reels to help separate the cranberry from their vines. Then, my grandfather would climb aboard this giant harvesting machine and drive around the bogs scooping up all the cranberries. I can remember being amazed at the entire process and not truly realizing how much work went into it until I saw it with my own eyes. I usually only watched my dad, grandfather, and uncle really do all the work to gather the cranberries, but it was something I definitely looked forward to every single year. After all the cranberries are collected, they are loaded into crates, then shipped to Ocean Spray, the company my grandfather sold his crops too.

Workers harvesting cranberries at a bog. Credit: PublicDomainImages

This tradition was something that was always a long but fun day with my family. We would always end the day with a big dinner, and it was usually had a lot to do with cranberry flavored items. This is really the first memory I had to anything garden related really, but it was something that was kind of unique to me. Not a lot of people get to experience and see the actual process of this harvest, and it was always a great time.

Forest Fruit Harvest Cranberries. Credit: MaxPixel