Since today is a day to honor those who’ve sacrificed their lives for us, I wanted to share one of the greatest freedoms I have known as a mother… a love of all creatures.
Teaching and sharing this love is also fun. Science projects are always my fav, and since my kids range over various ages, we decided to do a butterfly hatching project this spring. We’ve tried and failed on our own so this time I went through the Nature Gift Store to make sure everything was done perfectly.
This place is great. They have kits for tadpoles, caterpillars, worm farms and more.
The instructions are clear. We did break 1 rule. It advises that you do not open the caterpillar cup or touch the caterpillars once they arrive.
They have a guarantee that 3 out of 5 caterpillars will survive, so in case these Painted lady caterpillars are more delicate than others, we decided to add in an extra experiment. We would open 1 cup and play with the caterpillars in it, but leave the others. Double whammy. Very cool.
When our caterpillars arrived we had 6 each, so special bonus there.
We took 1 cup outside and greeted our new friends with the calm gentle energy the require.
Even my toddler sat still and was very good.
Once safely back in their cup, we placed both sets on the bookshelf so they could be observed without being jostled or annoyed.
Within a couple of days, our little caterpillar friends were hanging upside down getting busy on their chrysalis making.
Once everyone was all snuggled up in their metamorphosis we transferred the fabric under the lid, that their chrysalises were attached to into our decorated butterfly boxes. (Decorating them was so much fun too).
I have to say, moving the fabric with the chrysalises was terrifying. I was holding my breath going “please don’t drop it, please don’t drop it.”
But I got it taped up and the real wait began.
It didn’t take long though. After a week or so of my kids singing to the chrysalises, someone decided to applaud the show.
Our early rises was on its own for a while.
Well, kind of…
The toddler just had to explain what a squid is to our first butterfly. Over, and over, and over again. I don’t know why. He’s never cared about squid before. It must have been important though.
And our butterfly was a good listener.
The next day more butterflies emerged.
We still had some waiting to come out, but it felt rude to keep these 4 waiting, so we said good-bye to them and then continued our observations.
The ones we handled hatched later, I do believe. Things got a little mixed up. But I’m pretty sure it was the ones in this box. haha
But all 12 of our butterflies hatched and were set free. My eldest was worried about them, but they needed to spread their wings.
So we bid the rest adieu.
They said goodbye as well.
One chunky baby didn’t want to give up the sugar water. (The red isn’t food coloring, its leftover meconium from emerging.) But it too flew off and had fun on the dandelions I refuse to kill in my yard.
It was so fun and educational. The way all lessons should be.
I hope our butterfly friends make a ton of babies that will attack my yard for years. Here’s hoping you all see some natural wonders today and enjoy all your freedoms!