A few weeks ago we started our project to watch a cup of baby caterpillars transform into butterflies. The last time I wrote, the little family had turned themselves into chrysalids and we were ready to move them into their net butterfly house.
The caterpillars (a birthday present for Sam) were delivered in a sealed plastic cup, containing all the food they needed to grow. The food looked a lot like sand to be honest, and a lot less appetising than the slices of salami and Swiss cheese munched through by the famous Hungry Caterpillar.
Still, five out of the six survived to the chrysalis stage and we transferred them to their net home nearly two weeks ago. About a week later, the first butterfly emerged and now we have four fluttering about in the net.
As soon as the first one comes out it’s important to make sure they have food, which is either pieces of fresh fruit or sugared water (nectar) dropped onto fresh flowers or kitchen roll on the bottom of the net. If you can see tiny red droplets on the paper, don’t be alarmed, it’s just liquid which is released when the butterflies first come out.
The kids loved cutting some flowers from the garden to drop in and watching the butterflies move around. So far they’ve tried apples, bananas and watermelon and seem to like all three. Florence has even been talking to them, pulling up a chair to stand on so she can see in the net, and asking to give them food. She even picked up a photo of her dad the other day and tried to show it to her new pets. Total heart melt.
It’s comforting to watch new life grow at such a sad time for our family. I was hoping Roger would be at home when we set them free, but sadly it doesn’t look like he’ll make it home this weekend so we might have to either postpone their release or keep them just a couple of days longer.
The caterpillars were part of a set from Insect Lore, a gift from my sister Katie.