A few months ago we designed a beautiful Maryland butterfly magnet and shirt that launched with great success.

We were recently in Bethany Beach, DE and met a schoolteacher who raised butterflies and had a patch of milkweed where butterflies lay their eggs.  The monarch population has declined on the east coast due to the lack of milkweed plants - the only plant a monarch will eat or lay eggs on.  After speaking with her for a few minutes, she encouraged us to try to raise our own monarch and sent us home with a butterfly egg on a piece of milkweed.  We raised the egg and watched it turn into a thriving caterpillar who ate a large piece of milkweed every day.  Fortunately we found a few milkweed plants on our farm.

After a few weeks, the caterpillar spun it's cocoon and attached it to the top of a piece of cardboard.  Shortly before it emerged, the cocoon became transparent and the wing colors appeared through the cocoon.
About an hour after the cocoon was transparent, the butterfly emerged from his cocoon and spent time pumping up his wings.  We found out that this butterfly was a male due to the markings on his tail.  
It was tough to let him go - almost like sending your kids off to college.  Not to mention that it's late in the year for a butterfly and some make their way to Mexico during the winter, it's still hurricane season....all the reasons it's tough to let him spread his wing and fly.  He headed to our flowers and hung out for a day, then over the corn and on to his big adventure in the sky - flying the friendly skies of Maryland and beyond!