Thanks to my friend from California, Lois, this spring we are observing the butterflies cycle in our home.
After getting the butterfly tent, the kids had few days of crawling in and out of it.
We’ve ordered Painted Lady caterpillars. They came in 2 glass jars, loaded with food covering the bottom of the jars. Each jar had 5 tiny caterpillars, closed by a lid with small holes (caterpillars need oxygen too).
The jars arrived early in the morning, we unpacked them and we just looked at the small crawlies for quite some time, sitting on my bed. Right from the beginning we could tell, that one of them wasn’t very lively. 2 or 3 days later it died.
The remaining 9 of them started to eat and produced some silky canopies to hold onto. They were growing every day. After 5 days they became really much bigger and they grew poky hair on their bodies.
After about 10 days, one morning, after we woke up, we saw the first chrysalis in the making. The caterpillar tries to find a comfortable place on the lid, hangs upside down, pushing her head toward it’s belly.
Then the process of producing chrysalis starts.
During this process we’ve observed caterpillars bothering others, already in a state of chrysalis:
All of the caterpillars were done with the whole process within the next 2 days. Then we waited…and waited…and waited.
After about 8 days, in the morning we saw the first 2 Painted Lady butterflies. They’ve must just emerged, because their wings were still not expanded and dry. The kids screamed.
I’ve put the butterfly tent in the living room, and slowly moved the lids with the butterflies and chrysalises to the tent. I should of done it after they were all in chrysalis stage, but…).
This day we had the first 4 butterflies. After few hours, some of them tried to fly. We’ve put some flowers inside and a plate with a napkin soaked with a sugar water.
We enjoyed their beauty for about a week. Finally we were ready to release them into their natural habitat (our yard), knowing that they have only 1-2 weeks of life left.
This was the funnest part of all. The kids were gently uplifting each butterfly, and releasing them.
It is a wonderful way for the kids to learn and experience nature’s wonders. Metamorphosis is a great concept to talk about, in the nature’s design and in our spiritual life.