Thursday, August 16, 2012

The ABC’s of our Butterflies

The caterpillars hung snug in their chrysalis for just about ten days until we started to see changes occurring.  Our first beautiful lady butterfly emerged from her chrysalis a few weeks ago. The outer casing of the chrysalis was getting darker as the days and even hours went by.  When we checked Saturday morning we knew it wouldn’t be long as we could see the definite colors and patterns of the monarch butterfly.

Within 2 hours of waking and watching, she broke through and began to open her wings.  We were home to watch and it was remarkable.  Our neighbor Debbie has been along for the entire ride of this caterpillar journey and she was right there with us to watch it happen.  We couldn’t have asked for better timing.

2012-08-14 003 002
She was completely folded at first and she clung to her chrysalis as she tried to unfold her wings.  For the next four hours she held and clung and didn’t make much movement. We were able to move her to our butterfly hotel (Thanks Grandma Eid!).  By the time we finished lunch she was moving her wings and attempting to fly.  We took her out of the cage and tried to hold her, though she was very ready to fly around. She flew around the family room and kitchen for awhile, introducing herself to Lucy along the way. Her favorite spot seems to be the window screens. We named her Airabella.

2012-08-04 001 001    2012-08-04 001 005
We let her go the next morning.  We had a butterfly releasing ceremony with our neighbors.  It was a big deal!  Mallory held on, Mikayla still timid refused, as soon as she let go of her wings, she took off.  She was quick to flutter high up into the sky and soon enough she was out of our sight.

2012-08-05 001 007
The next two followed just a day later and emerged within hours of each other.  We named them Buttercup (per Mallory) and Cupcake (as this one was born on Mikayla’s birthday).  They were released the next day and Mikayla was brave enough to hold one and let it go.  As they took flight we watched them flutter from flower to flower.  One came back and landed on a patch of flowers alongside of where we were standing.

2012-08-05 001 011
2012-08-06 001 010  2012-08-06 001 013

Our fourth chrysalis was two weeks behind the others so it hung out, virtually unnoticed until this morning.  The outer casing was completely transparent and we knew it wouldn’t be long.  This time we were lucky enough to watch the entire emersion.  Watching the butterfly break free and carefully open its wings was, for lack of a better world, amazing.  Mallory was nose to nose with the box and she just kept saying “Whoa…”  This one we have called Delilah.

2012-08-14 003 002  2012-08-14 003 004

She was very ready to fly away so right before bedtime Mallory stepped out on the deck and let her go.

2012-08-15 001 001
She quickly fluttered around and crept higher and higher.  The block dot to the right of the tree is Delilah.

2012-08-15 001 004
Four tiny white eggs, who through a process only God could have created, we have four beautiful monarch butterflies.  A.B.C.D.  My new goal for the kids and I is to grow and hatch butterflies each summer making our way through the entire alphabet of letters for names.  I have given us a deadline of the summer of 5th Grade for Mallory.  In years to come all the pictures of each different butterfly will undoubtedly look the same, however, the process from start to finish whether it be from tiny egg to beautiful butterfly and from Airabella all the way down to Zella, the memory that the kids will take with them into adulthood will stand out loud.

1 comment:

Amy said...

very cool! what a great experience and a great mommy!