Monday, January 31, 2011

M and His Butterflies

M got caterpillars for Christmas.  Well, he got a netted container with a voucher for caterpillars anyway. I love Amazon, and we generally buy most things through it, from grocery items to birthdays and Christmas presents.  We sent away from M's caterpillars at the end of December. His caterpillars finally arrived a few weeks ago.  They crawled around, tiny, eating their food for several days.  They grew and grew and eventually hung from their lid, each forming a chrysalis.  Then, we moved the chrysalides to the netted container and watched them every day.

A few days ago, one chrysalis turned dark and a butterfly emerged.  Yesterday, two more followed.  And today, the final butterfly emerged.  M is the proud papa of four painted lady butterflies.  M named them, in order of emergence from their pods: Iam, Isaac, Sheila and Hella.  According to M, Iam and Isaac are boys, and Sheila and Hella are girls.

We have been giving the butterflies slices of orange to munch on until they were all ready to be released outside.  Of course, M had to be ready too.  A few minutes ago, M announced that he was ready to let them go in the backyard.  We took the net outside, opened the top and gently helped them come out.  They hung around the patio for a few minutes, walking around and trying out their wings.  But then one took flight (we could swear it was Sheila) and we yelled "goodbye!" to her.  While we prepared a plate with sugar-water and orange slices to place in the backyard,  two more butterflies flew off to explore the neighborhood.  M and I hope they come back to visit.  Maybe they will fly by to say "hi" and have a little snack.

(I included the Amazon link above for the brand we bought.  We love it, and their customer service was very nice.)

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