My friend Beth and I are in the butterfly garden, planting a milkweed patch that we hope will attract monarchs later in the summer. She notices the spice bush we planted last fall, and wanders over to take a look. She has two spice bushes, she says, but has yet to see a spice bush caterpillar on either of them this year.
Then she stops, reaches into the bush, and gently unrolls a furled leaf. There lies a bright green caterpillar with two, huge staring yellow eyes. It's one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.
The eyes aren't real, Beth points out. They're there to make the caterpillar look like a snake's head, so that it can scare away birds that might think of it as lunch. The caterpillar's real head, small and white, pokes out beneath.
Kids gather quickly to look. Another of our everyday miracles.