12 06 2008

my new friend

I never held a butterfly until I was an adult. A few years ago we went for the first time to the Wild Animal Park’s Orchids and Butterflies Event and my daughter got to hold one. *jealous* But we’ve gone each Spring since and once I even got to hold two. If by “hold” I mean with my shoulder. And I do.

This year my dad asked what he should get M for her birthday and I said I wanted her to have this Butterfly Garden. And I barely even procrastinated when it came time to mail away for the caterpillars! It’s a learning experience all around!

They arrived in the mail, doubled in size the next day, carefully ate away at the paper which was necessary to transfer them from their sterile little cup to the butterfly garden and turned themselves right into pupas (not puppies). It surprised me how quickly it all happened. The pupal-transformation took only an hour or so.

And then their heads fell off. According to a website about Painted Lady butterflies (not about painted ladies, that’s different) it’s not their head, but their “leftover exoskeleton” but I think that’s dumbed-dowm so as not to terrify sweet little children.

And on Tuesday they were all born. And because I was terrified of accidently killing one, we set them free that very afternoon. They lingered a bit and hung out with us and we all got to hold them – even the preschooler wanted in on the action, although he was terrified of them earlier this Spring. You can click on the photo above to see the whole set and you can click here to see three videos of the release if you want (you may have to scroll down).

And because that’s MY lovely hand up there (and I do like my hands) I’m also using this as an excuse to remind you all about the 7 Days run coming up in just a few days. I hope you join us!




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