Friday, September 11, 2009

Butterflies!

I mentioned a long while back about how we got caterpillars & watched them change to butterflies, but I wanted to post some pictures of the funJ. Enjoy!
Building the butterfly house...
The finished product with the caterpillar "vials" inside...
Attaching the cocoons to the top of the cage...

Butterfly very close to coming out of it's cocoon. If you look closely, you can see a lot of details of the butterfly...
Newly born?hatched?emerged? butterfly beside it's empty cocoon. This is only minutes after it emerged...it won't fly for an hour or two until it's wings dry out...
One of our butterflies...
At night they would often group in clusters like this to sleep...
All 8 of our butterflies (out of 11 caterpillars we started with) eating in the cage...
We kept the butterflies for about a week, hoping that they would lay eggs so we could do the whole cycle again. We managed to get LOTS of eggs...which became LOTS of miniature little caterpillars...we managed to get about 10 of them to be decent sized caterpillars...but only 2 or 3 that were nearly full grown. Unfortunately, they ended up dying before making cocoons. It was a lot harder having to find our own food for them (the first batch came with fake food in their vials). We found leaves that they would eat & cleaned out the container every day, but something went wrong somewhere along the line I guess. Anyways...it was fun to see the tiny little eggs & the eyelash sized caterpillars & how fast they grew to full size. These are the caterpillars just after they've hatched...
One day when I was taking pictues, I decided to try & pick up one of the butterflies...I ended up with 4 on my hand at once...Benjamin & Manda wanted to try too (Kirby didn't want to...scared??...)...Benjamin was happy to pick up one or two...
Manda wanted as many as she could...
She ended up with 5 out of 8...
Release day...most of them didn't actually fly out on their own, the kids got to pick them up & put them on a flower...
Saying goodbye...
Manda was sad to have to let them go. After we released them all she chased them around the yard & caught some again:).

1 comment:

Cheri said...

That is so awesome! Great pictures.