Thursday, September 27, 2007
to the rest of us
had become this.
We got our butterfly kit from Rainbow Resource, but you can also get them directly from Insect Lore, which has several different butterfly kits as well as all kinds of other buggy stuff your kids will bug you to get.
We haven't done this since Anne and Betsy were seven and four years old, so Betsy barely remembered witnessing this little miracle once before.
We got to see every stage of the life cycle, as we were patiently watching one morning (we didn't get much else done, but it was worth devoting the time) when one of the butterflies emerged. At first, the chrysalid shook repeatedly, then was still. Finally, the butterfly simply dropped out and onto the floor of the garden. The girls feared it was dead, as it looked so compressed and helpless. But soon its wings slowly unfolded, bit by bit. It climbed to the top of its home, continued pumping its wings and became the lovely Painted Lady we'd hoped to see.
All five of our caterpillars made it to adulthood, and are currently enjoying life in their colorful condo with carnations, sugar water, and admiring fans who keep Mr. Putter (the cat) at bay.
More about Painted Ladies at:
The Butterfly Site (also includes ideas for raising them on your own, rather than with a kit)
The Earth's Birthday: All About Painted Lady Butterflies