If you’ve been following our butterfly journey you’ll know it was time to set our tiny pets free this week. Out of the six little caterpillars we started off with, four made it to the final stage and we had become quite attached to them. The Insect Lore kit was a birthday present for Sam, but Florence loved them just as much, making sure she fed the “futter-fies” every morning with pieces of fruit and sugared water.
The project took about a month all in all – a couple of weeks for the caterpillars to grow and turn into chrysalids, a week before the first butterflies emerged and another week watching them all come out and live in their net home in our kitchen. It’s such a lovely thing to do and I would really recommend it for kids of any age.
When it was time to set them free it was a weekend but unfortunately my husband Roger was at the hospice rather than at home. So he could be a part of it, we decided to take our butterflies to him and let them out in the garden outside his room. The hospice grounds are beautifully kept with plenty of greenery and butterfly-friendly flowers, so I knew it would work. Many thanks should go here to my mum and dad, who lovingly transported the net in their car.
You would think that once the net was opened, they would flutter out romantically into the air, wouldn’t you? Well that isn’t really how it happened, as it turns out baby butterflies are actually quite shy things which need a bit of persuading to come out. Sam had to lift them out gently by holding the flowers they were sitting on, then watched them for a few minutes before they gingerly flew off. One even rested on his trouser leg for a while before it made its getaway.
A really special memory for all of us.