Army of caterpillars and origami butterflies: nature and public art in Chicago

How a caterpillar met an origami butterfly

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.

Origami butterflies next to purple flowers and golden sunflowersThe 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.

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