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Wednesday, March 30, 2016
It had been a few years since we raised butterflies so I sent away for a few cups of caterpillars so we could watch the process of them changing into butterflies.
These are actually pretty big compared to when they first arrived. It took a little over a week for them to grow into big fat caterpillars. Then we noticed that they started o climb up to the top of the cups and hang.
This was when the trouble started. We had the cups sitting on a desk or bookshelf in one of the rooms we are always in so we could look at them all the time. But once these caterpillars started hanging and changing into crysalis our cat started to get really interested in them. One morning I came downstairs to find some of the cups of caterpillars dumped on the floor. I was very sad to see that the fall broke them from their hanging position and then were loose on the floor of cup. We had four of them that been traumatized. I decided we would make this an experiment or at least a chance to observe what would happen. I left two of them on loose on the floor of their cup and then two of them I tried supergluing back into their hanging position. Then we just had to wait.
We had 4 cups total which means we could have had 20 butterflies. Waiting for them for the week which they changed in their crystalis' was hard. especially because the cat continued to be very interested in them. We couldn't leave the "butterfly garden" out where she could see it or she stalked it and was very intent on getting them.
But eventually they started to emerge. The first ones appeared Easter Morning. New life on Easter morning seemed fitting!
Here is one of the butterflies that emerged from one of the crysalis' that was left on the floor of the garden. It's wings were bent over and never could straighten out. We hoped it would be able to fix the problem when we saw it crawl to the edge and climb up the netting. But the wings never did go straight. The other one that emerged from the crysalis on the ground was in worse shape. It wings were totally crumpled and it never could get very far at all even to crawl to the netting. Poor butterfly!
We still had many that emerged just fine and the kids all had a good time looking at them as they sat on their fingers opening and closing their wings.
We don't know why this one only had one of the wings on its right side. It may have been damaged by the fall caused by our cat or it may have just been a fluke malformation. In any case we gave it a chance to see the world and left it outside on some flowers so it could at least feel like a butterfly for a bit.
The cats interest was even greater once they were out of their crysalis so we needed to let them out into the world sooner rather than later or else we knew there would be more casualties.
It is always sad to set them free and see them fly away never knowing if they make it in the real world. But at least they got to see the green grass and colorful flowers and feel the warm sun on their wings!