Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Caterpillars to Butterflies!

For Christmas this year, Santa brought something very cool for Madison.  A butterfly habitat!  Now, like many other great gifts, this one got shoved to the back of a closet, to be forgotten about for months.  But one day Madison brought it to me and asked when we could order the caterpillars.  Being the great mom I am , I immediately wrote out a check and put it in the mail. 

For weeks, each day Madison would check the mailbox and say, "Aw, no caterpillars!"  It seemed they would never come, but then lo and behold, one day they arrived in a tiny little box.  Inside the box was a special little clear cup containing the caterpillars that would one day turn into Painted Lady butterflies.

Now I've seen some pretty cool 'pillars in my time, but these were just, well, ugly! They were really small and black all over.  Madison, of course, thought they were adorable.  So, each day we would watch them eating the disgusting brown stuff from the bottom of the cup, and each day they got bigger and bigger and bigger, until one day, they all started attaching themselves to the top of the cup, encasing themselves in what I can only describe as a waxy-looking substance.  
Now it was time to remove the lid and attach it to the inside of the butterfly habitat and wait for them to break out of their cocoon.  This is what they look like as they're hanging there.  You'll have to excuse the white netting, as the picture was taken through the side of the habitat.

It's about a week later now and here's what we found!  Yes, it's really a butterfly!

We found out that if you don't have flowers to put in there for them to get some nectar, you can make sugar water and soak a cotton ball in it.  I haven't seen the butterfly go to it yet, but she sure does seem to like a slice of tangerine!

I've got more critter tales to tell, and these much less palatable, but you'll just have to keep checking back to see when I post about it!
Until next time, Justine :o )

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