Thursday, May 26, 2011

From Caterpillars to Butterflies

I thought it would be fun to hatch some butterflies, so I bought us a net and ordered some caterpillars. And for about three or four days, we checked the mail hoping they would be there.

Then one day, surprise! We are the proud owners of five fuzzy caterpillars.

Luke was excited.

Daily we checked on our caterpillars and watched them.  In about three days, they had gone to the top of the container and began to make their chrysalis.  On afternoon, we were able to watch one for a long time and saw about half of the chrysalis appear.  Very cool.

Within a couple more days, they had all formed their chrysalis. At this point, we had to take the top off the container, remove some of the silk, and transfer the paper disk with the chrysalis to the net. This was nerve racking! Joshua did a great job at pinning the disk to the net while I watched to make sure he was not about to poke one of them.

Then the waiting began.

Finally, you could sort of see through them and see the wings. 

One Saturday morning, we heard a sound coming from the net and saw that one of the butterflies appeared to be trying to emerge. For about four hours this butterfly tried to get out, and then all the movement stopped. It never emerged.

However, the next morning, a different butterfly had made it!

We were all so excited!

The following morning, we saw that we had three more!  While we were excited to see they had emerged, we were sad that we did not get to see any of them as they came out.

We had four painted lady butterflies!  We kept them for about three days and feed them and watched as they flew around. 

Then, we got them out one by one.

It was hard for Luke to get them out since his hands are small.  He was worried he would crush them.  So, I got them out, and then he would let them crawl to his hand.

The first one flew to the back fence and sat a while.

The second one flew straight out and away over the fence.

The third one stayed on Luke a good while.

Then it flew over the fence.

The fourth one hung around for a little while too.

And then flew to the flower bed.

This was so much fun and I think we will do it again.

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