PapioTom's Preposterous Papillonization Project

Field of Study:
    My yard. Forty-five hundred square feet of hill.

Field of Dreams:
    My favorite movie.

Course Objective:
    To reintroduce a native lepidopter to developed land in the Eastern Nebraska area and increase population density of said specie in surrounding environs.

Coarse Objective:
    To grow some damn butterflies.

    Very. Using my right-brain as instructor and left-brain as student, and having completed prerequisite studies on the Internet for over two weeks, I shall attempt to complete the coarse objective within the span of one season.

What set him off?
    The reasons are many and varied. First, see this page for a simple history of my town and its nomenclature. Second, read about the plight of above indicated lepidopter, as written by people who write things. Third, read of the insidious secret government plot to rid my aforementioned town of its namesake lepidopter by replacing its natural environmental habitat with megabuildings. Fourth, I have an innate artist's will to create beautiful things, a desire that has combined with a Frankensteinian hope to bring life to a place where once was none, demonically spawning a horrifying melange of neuroses that are best exorcised by relaxing in my yard and watching pretty little harmlessnesses like butterflies and fireflies.

    Well, I was born in Philadelphia and down sath we callum lattning boogs. I suppose I could study for a couple of days on how to raise fireflies, but my town wasn't named after fireflies, nor are they that pretty in the daytime.

Do you always talk to yourself?
    Since when did this become a question and answer session? Stop distracting me; I'm about to describe my Project.

Overview: The life cycle of a butterfly
    Which came first, the butterfly or the egg? The egg. The egg grows on milkweed. Soon, a caterpillar hatches and eats the milkweed. Then it curls up into a ball and magically becomes a hard lumpy thing called a chrysalis. (Jennifer says I do much the same thing in my waterbed.) After hanging out for a while, the chrysalis splits open and a butterfly pops out. By this time it's sick of milkweed and flies off to suck on pretty flowers instead. Hopefully it falls in love with another butterfly, and after a quick mating the mommy will fly back to lay eggs on a milkweed... while the daddy flies off to Mexico. William Zittrich has a fine photo essay of all this on his website at

That's it?
    Except for the part where, after mating, the female sinks its beak into the male and injects it with neurotoxin before ripping out his heart and dashing it to the ground, then screeching madly, she clutches his limp and lifeless husk in her talons and carries it for miles, only to drop the corpse into the river where it can't be identified.

    Okay, I made that part up. Girls you meet in bars do that. Monarchs are harmless.

    I am endeavoring to increase the local population of butterflies. I plan to facilitate this by growing fresh milkweed plants, putting caterpillars on the plants, and letting them do their thing. If and when they become butterflies, I will have pretty flowers ready for them to nosh on. Hopefully they will love me so much that they hang around in my yard instead of going on that winter vacation in Mexico.

    Since nobody would ever choose my yard over a vacation in Mexico, I will have an auxiliary butterfly love nest where I can keep some guests for a couple of weeks, a miniature land of milkweed and honeywater.

SO! Let's cut the crap and go straight to Phase One!