Sunday, June 19, 2011

in awe of mother nature

Recently, a couple of my neighbours asked me if I wanted to go in on some caterpillars with them. More specifically, a kit of caterpillars with some food. 

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm not that into bugs. Okay, I'm not gonna lie, they totally freak me out. But I thought this would be cool for the kids, ya know, as long as they stayed in their little containers.

Of course, I've read Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar to the kids about a thousand times but I've never seen these little critters in action. But really caterpillars aren't something I knew very much about.

So the first thing I learned is that they really do eat and eat and eat, and GROW! These little guys more than doubled in size in just a few days. 

Then one by one, they each climbed up to the top of the container and hung upside down like this:

They looked perfectly still and motionless. But then, before I knew it, the next time I'd check on them, they'd be covered up in their chrysalis. I have no idea how they do this.

I managed to get a shot of this one before he was completely covered. I would estimate it takes about a day from start to finish. Then we wait.

 Okay, I may have been more excited about these little creatures than the kids were.

These two started their chrysalises just a day or two apart.

Then, just this morning, I noticed that one of the chrysalises were empty.

And there she was... a beautiful 'painted lady' butterfly.
If you look real closely at her wings, they almost look like peacock feathers.


We placed some fruit and some sugar water into a bottle cap for her.

And then a little while later, we released her... not knowing if she could even fly yet.

And she fluttered away so beautifully. So perfectly.

Now I can hardly wait for the others to bust out of those chrysalises!
Evan's become so fascinated in caterpillars that he picked up a stray today. We'll have to wait and see what kind of butterfly she turns into!

UPDATE: New picture from our 3rd butterfly

 And yeah, I have pretty cool neighbours, don't I?!


  1. So cool. When I was little I kept a caterpillar I found in a glass jar in hopes that I would be able to see it turn into a butterfly. We went camping that weekend and I brought my caged up caterpillar with me. The poor little guy wasn't a good camper. He froze to death...I cried. I felt so bad.

  2. Beautiful. Have you ever taken the boys to the butterfly gardens at Carleton around Thanksgiving?
    They wold really enjoy it after all their discoveries.

  3. What a wonderful learning experience for the kids and the butterfly is so beautiful :) Ah, the wonders of nature!
    - Natalie


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