Do you remember my conflict with the caterpillars? How I had to compete with them for the nettles I wanted for my nettle soups and risottos? If you don't recall my boyfriend telling me to stay away from 'the caterpillars' nettles', you can read all about it here.
Well, this conflict had abated in recent weeks as the caterpillars went into chrysalis and no longer needed to be fed copious amounts of nettles. So, I had my nettle patch all to myself.
In fact, I'd almost forgotten about the caterpillars until my boyfriend excitedly informed me last night that some of them had emerged as butterflies. We decided to leave them overnight - apparently, it takes a while for their wings to become strong enough to fly - and we released them into the wild this morning.
Watching them tentatively flutter their wings and take off into a sunny morning was a happy way to start the day. It made all of that conflict worthwhile.
Here's my boyfriend upending the structure he designed for the caterpillars while they pupated:
And here are some of the lovely tortoiseshell butterflies before they flew away: