An army of caterpillars somehow got onto the median of a busy tourist street in Chicago. How was such an unusual sight discovered? Why through origami butterflies, of course!
Being freshly married two weeks ago, we have about four hundred extra origami butterflies that we didn’t use in the wedding reception. This army of butterflies will be slowly released upon the city of Chicago over the next few months.
The 400 origami butterflies of deep purple, lavender, and gold paper match nicely with with the purple and gold sunflowers in the garden medians of a major traffic thoroughfare in downtown Chicago’s shopping district, Michigan Avenue. The photos for this setting turned out alright. The sunflowers were slightly burnt from the hot 100-degree weather days earlier. Looking for some better sunflowers on the medians, I delicately danced along the median with cars zooming past.
Many striped caterpillars were all clustered together feeding on the greenery. These caterpillars will big, fat, and striped. An amazing site to see them clinging to the leaves as the wind from the zooming traffic blew the branches left and right.
So not only would fate have it that the flowers in the gardens matched the colors of the origami butterflies in my hand, but there were actual live caterpillars on the plants!
The very symbolism for why we used butterflies in our wedding was right there! The transformation of caterpillar to butterfly! I placed a gold origami butterfly next to one of the caterpillars and happily shot photos and videos. Cars were honking and I was hopping in delight.
Here’s a 51-second simple video of the origami next to a caterpillar with the traffic wind blowing the plant around.
Milkweed. That’s the name of the plant. The monarch caterpillar eats only milkweed plants which is bitter. When a bird eats a monarch caterpillar full of milkweed, the bird learns to never eat a monarch caterpillar ever again. The bird learns to identify monarch caterpillar by its stripes.
I was checking out to see if the caterpillars were still in the median in front of Tribune Tower. They are; and as I was taking photos, someone stopped on the median with me to tell me that there are a ton of them lined up further west on Wacker Drive. They are monarch caterpillars and they love that particular plant. He told me the name of the plant‚ÄîI forget the name.
Despite the Monarch butterfly having problems in the past few years, for whatever reason, they have congregrated together in mass on these plants on Wacker Drive. In fact, when they are done eating the plants, they have formed their chrysalises along the the decorative indentation on the limestone planters–all in a row.
The guy was wondering if the city planted the caterpillars here or if they came naturally.
It made me really happy that A) someone would also notice these caterpillars; and B) he would have advanced knowledge of these caterpillars; and C) he would stop and share that knowledge with a stranger taking photos of them.