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Taking Care Of A Butterfly

March 29, 2014

From today on, you may call me the crazy butterfly lady.

Some of you might know from Facebook, that we have a little guest at our apartment at the moment. Though guest is not the right word, since I don’t think that this guest will be leaving again, sadly. The one I’m talking about, is a butterfly that we called Lemon. We found her (judging by the color of her wings, she is a female) on our balcony, flapping around but not being able to fly. We took her inside because she looked pretty helpless and it wouldn’t have taken long until she would have been eaten by a bird. I guess that would be the circle of life and that’s ok too. But the story of this particular butterfly was supposed to take a more lucky turn.


Feeding a butterfly

Feeding the butterfly


We started feeding her with sugar water, which she slurps for minutes and minutes with her little trunk. Observing her more, we noticed that her wings were bend in a strange way and thought that she probably just came out of her cocoon when we found her. Maybe she just needed more time to unfold them. But the wings stayed the same for days and it became clear that she would never fly.

Even though Lemon tries to flap her wings now and then, most of the time she is just sitting. We give her different choices to sit on, from flowers to fruit or pine cones. And when the weather is nice I take her out on the balcony, no kidding : ),  to sit on the flowers, surrounded by bees buzzing and a breezy air – some real nature, at least for a while.


Lemon surrounded with flowers

Lemon surrounded with flowers


Lemon sitting on salad... blending in perfectly ; )

Lemon sitting on salad… blending in perfectly ; ) 


On the balcony

On the balcony


Whenever I feed her or take her out on the balcony I have to silently giggle at myself, the crazy butterfly lady. I’d bet that I would get laughs from a lot of people for doing this, but you know, if this was a bigger animal, like a dog, there is no question that anyone would help out and care for the animal. To me it’s such a natural reaction and why care about the size of the being in need? The size has nothing to do with the fact that they all want to live and that they are all able to suffer. So I gladly take care of this little fellow and I have to say, after caring for Lemon for over two weeks now, I grew very fond of her.

She is not scared of me anymore. Before, she would start flapping her wings when I came closer, but now she sits on my hand and most times when my hand comes closer she immediately rolls out her trunk. She knows that she gets her food from me. Isn’t that incredible? I never thought that one could be so “close” with a butterfly. But caring for this little being has surely taught me a great lesson of compassion. Just knowing that it is possible to connect with even the smallest animals shows me even more that all life is precious and there is not much difference between all living beings (us humans included). And for that, all life deserves respect, care and love. That’s just how simple it is.




It’s hard for me to judge if Lemon is doing ok. Sadly, over time, her wings got very brittle and even broke off in some places due to her flapping and rolling around on the floor.


Broken wings

Broken wings


I don’t know for how long she will still live but as long as she wants to eat I think she wants to live. And that’s most important. So I’ll keep feeding her, like in this little video from today. Have a great weekend everyone!



Update 4/14/2014:

I guess it’s time to say goodbye to little Lemon. Yesterday she was still active and drinking, but today I almost see no reaction from her. She was with us for 4 weeks now and she will surely be missed. I never thought that I would say that about a butterfly, but these weeks proved to me that one can bond with any living being! Thank you Lemon!

RIP Lemon

RIP Lemon



  • Reply
    March 29, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Aw, what a nice story <3

  • Reply
    sandra welle
    October 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    uj !! DAS IS SOOO TOLL !!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Great story and I suppose an even bigger experience behind it! I\’m happy for you and Lemon – I know from a similar experience with ladybugs in my childhood that indeed every life is precious no matter what its size. And the fact that Lemon made it for a whole month shows that she wasn\’t unhappy with the situation I guess. Great photos too 🙂 !!!

    • Reply
      March 15, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Thank you Sarah! So nice to hear that you also had an experience with a tiny being. It\’s such an important lesson to learn in life. 🙂

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