Laura Golinski is an amazing Mom- and also happens to be married to my Director of Photography- Keith Golinski- that is responsible for all the Cameras, Lighting, and Technical Direction of “Life in Bloom” – “Fun with Flowers”- our Flower Documentaries, At Home with Flowers and More! Laura- and Keith- have 3 amazing kiddos… and it was a treat to visit them at their home- out in the country- where they live on a Nature filled property- and where Laura- helps her kids- raise Monarch Butterflies. You can watch the episode with Laura, her kids and the Butterfly Nursery- in Episode #311 – Nature Centered- On “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom” here!
Laura got into this several years ago- and it’s a HUGE undertaking- because once you start the process- you have to stick with it and stay with it from beginning to end… that’s why it’s such a tremendous project- to introduce to your kids. It teaches responsibility as well as Nature Awareness, along with compassion- sympathy- and kindness. All of which Laura and Keith have instilled their amazing kids.
The butterflies are attracted to the Milk Weed- that grows to profusion – at their home- and the property surrounding… Laura developed her ‘system’ for harvesting- and protecting the Monarch Butterfly Eggs. She noticed that Monarch Butterflies were becoming endangered and in researching the topic- found that you could help, support and sustain- the eggs, and subsequent Caterpillars… feeding them- preventing them from eating one another (yep -that happens)… and helping them safely turn into their Chrysalis – and then hatching into a butterfly- that could be released…
The process is quite intricate- and commands attention- daily- sometimes hourly- to be sure- all the eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis, are safe, sound and cared for- it’s definitely not something for the faint of heart- or those that lack determination- and are willing to do everything it takes to ensure the survival of the eggs, caterpillars and butterflies.
I was so impressed- at the knowledge- and compassion the entire process imparted on the kids and Myself- when I made my visit to learn more about the process. Laura had purchased and maintained housing for the different stages – of the evolution. Eggs were in one location- as they hatched they were moved to a new “nursery” with plenty of food- Milk Weed Leaves- and kept well fed- so they would not turn on one another for nourishment… (this is important) … and then allowing them to feed- grow and mature- so they can transform into a Chrysalis- (Not a Cocoon- as I was corrected by Laura’s son- when I was visiting… which I TRULY Loved- that he wanted to ensure- that I understood the different between Cocoon and Chrysalis… )
A Cocoon is created with a silk like fiber- that is secreted by a flying moth or butterfly- while the Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar- actually has the Chrysalis all along- and when fully developed- begins the metamorphosis into a butterfly- it’s fascinating… to say the least!
I was also impressed at HOW Large the Caterpillars were- they are big- and they eat a lot- that observation from Laura… she is constantly researching the internet and video websites- for more information, documentaries and “how to” processes- to maintain the utmost success for this home/Wildlife Conservation project- she uses to educate her children- and also support the Monarch Population.
There’s a HOW To Guide for Kids- that’s available at the following Link! There’s also plenty of videos available on Youtube… Laura shares that the process is a personal journey- and warns- that you need to be dedicated… and passionate about the process… again- it takes a great deal of time and energy- to be successful and supportive to the Monarch Population. However – it’s educating and emotionally fulfilling- to share with your family- and it helps create humans that are compassionate, kind and supportive of nature- and endangered species. I have to agree- and know that Laura and her kiddos are making the world a better place- One Butterfly at a time!
To begin your own journey – in saving and supporting the Monarch Butterfly Populations- we encourage you do your research- on Line- with Books, Videos and information provided by the Save Our Monarchs Association. (https://www.saveourmonarchs.org/)