Flowergirl wanted a “butterfly birthday” for her third birthday. Appropriately, one of her birthday gifts was a butterfly garden habitat and a coupon for ten Painted Lady caterpillars. A crawly package with the name Cup of Caterpillars quickly arrived on our doorstep.
July 31:Soon the chrysalids hardened and took on a shimmery-gold sheen. I wish photos could convey the shade of gold. It was like a magic lamp that needed polishing, only instead of a genie, other magic was at work inside.
Once the chrysalids were constructed, Orchid bravely and carefully transferred them into the butterfly habitat.
We waited and waited. Sunboy was put on butterfly watch so we wouldn’t miss the moment the pupae decided they were ready to emerge and stretch their new wings as butterflies. When they did, it was amazing.
Finally it was time to let them go, so we placed the butterfly habitat under the butterfly bush and opened the top. Nine of them flew out on their own volition and we cheered each time one went free. I uploaded a video of one of them releasing HERE.
One of the butterflies (which Sunboy had named Crush) stayed nearby and gave Sunboy a special goodbye. This wasn’t the first time Sunboy had held a butterfly, but perhaps this time was more special because we watched Crush metamorphose and come into his own fluttery butterfly being before our eyes. We were quite taken with Crush and the “butterfly effect” he had on us. Ahem.
What happened to the tenth butterfly? Well, he stayed at the bottom of the butterfly habitat for a few hours after his companions had left. Worried that something was wrong with one of his wings, I put my finger inside to let him climb aboard. He quickly walked on, and I could feel his tiny legs on my fingertip. The moment I lifted him out of the habitat, he flew away, higher than any of the others, over the trees and beyond. He just needed a little more help, like we all do sometimes.
Of course the kids decided to name them, and so this butterfly post is dedicated to:
Chrys (as in chrysalis)
and Joey, the last butterfly to spread his wings.