I used to observe many Red Pierrot butterfly around a shrub by 8-10 am everyday. On close observation of the plant I realized that the margin of leaves were changing color. I realized that the beautiful butterfly must have laid eggs on the plant. The host plant for red pierrot is Crassulaceae family (remember CAM mechanism? the model family). I sat next to the plant to take certain photos of different stages of butterfly for my blog. The gardener of our institute joined me to much of my inexpressible dismay that these people hang with plants so much so they might have observed butterfly also. Yet they were concerned that if it is diseased plant then uprooting it would save its disease spread to rest of the garden plant. I showed them the butterfly and asked do they find it beautiful. “Yes”. Then I showed them some four pupae of the same and eggs. They were amazed that so many butterfly would come out from this “detanned”plant. Happily they started exploring and discussed amongst themselves that even if the plant leaves are being eaten by so many caterpillar (as they themselves explored many more eggs and caterpillar on the same plant), they would not uproot it till all the caterpillar, pupa,eggs are grown out.
Well I guess a bit of interacting with the gardeners and helping them to understand butterfly world, would help us in future. I see less greenery and even less butterflies in urban landscape. If we want to enjoy the antics of butterfly in future, investing knowledge in our gardens will help immensely.