Community Contributions: Village Rock Shop Butterflies

My name is Xenia Mateiu and I am the owner of The Village Rock Shop, a small, local gemstones and crystals gift shop in Carlsbad, California. A special event is happening in the shop this spring, we have butterflies growing in the shop, and they usually spend a whole day strengthening their wings after hatching until they become strong enough to venture out into the world. 

This all started unintentionally over the covid-19 pandemic when we hired a gardener to improve our outdoor space. During this time our landscape had improved along with our knowledge of plants that attract butterflies. 

One of the plants butterflies like the most is Milkweed so we included it in our green space. It wasn’t long until we started to observe the beautiful metamorphosis that butterflies go through. The larvae eat the plant’s leaves then try to find a safe place to form the chrysalis and start their transformation process. As the plants were close to the store’s entrance a couple of larvae got in and created their chrysalis inside the shop.

While everything was shut down due to the pandemic, I would go to the store daily to work on our website, and package and ship products. Now I was blessed with having a fascinating event to also watch unfold in front of me, over the course of a couple of weeks. I had personally never seen a chrysalis form or knew anything about this process and I found it truly fascinating. 

Now, we also bought a milkweed plant inside our store and whenever we find larvae outside we bring a couple inside to watch this wonderful process again and again. No matter what stage our butterflies are in, people love coming in to see them. If we are in the chrysalis stage, people are always fascinated, as some have never seen this stage.