Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A November Butterfly?

We left town for a few days this past week, noticing a butterfly sitting on the concrete floor of the partially-heated garage before we left. When we came back three days later, it was still sitting on the floor, though moving only minimally. Puzzled as to why there was a butterfly in our garage while we have a thick layer of snow outside, I decided to feed the butterfly a bit of fruit. It started moving a bit more, enjoying the pears and pineapple. Who knew a Saskatchewan butterfly would enjoy tropical fruit? Last night, I moved it into the kitchen for the kids to watch. My four-year old drew a picture of it, complete with a large smiley face. It now is feasting on Ceres mango juice, lemon, and bananas.

Online searching found that it is a Compton tortoiseshell butterfly and it is known to overwinter as an adult in a protected space. I am wondering what they usually eat over the winter? If it survives past watching our Christmas decorating in the next few days, we'll have to figure out where it can spend the rest of the winter. Perhaps hidden away in the summer shoes on the top shelf of the garage? Hmmm.