Thursday, June 25, 2009

Butterfly Surprise

It was an impulsive decision.  We had two empty planters and I wanted some kind of herbs in them.  I chose lavender for one and parsley for the other.  Both are good for this climate.  I thought it might be nice to have fresh parsley for cooking.  Who knew I would have butterflies instead?  Here is what happened:

Step 1:  Planted parsley

Step 2:  Saw 4 black caterpillars on the parsley and realized that my mother-in-law had collected caterpillars like this before.  Called my mother-in-law asking how to do it.  Had the kids help me prepare a large bucket by putting sticks inside and covering with pantyhose to prevent escape.  Placed the caterpillars inside and fed them fresh parsley every day for 2-3 days until they formed a chrysalis on a stick.  There are no photos of the caterpillars, sorry.

Step 3:  Brought the chrysalises inside hoping they would open into butterflies in 9-11 days.

Step 4:  This morning I came into the kitchen and found a butterfly sitting on the stick.  It was beautiful.  The kids were so excited.

Step 5:  Place the stick outside so the butterfly can dry its wings and fly away.  

Step 6:  Watched the children be enthralled to the point where they wanted to eat breakfast outside in hopes of seeing the butterfly fly away.

When I went to get my camera in order to share these photos, I saw that a second butterfly had hatched.  I let him crawl onto my fingers and placed him gently outside near the first butterfly. We have two more chrysalises that will probably open tomorrow.  This has been really fun.


The Powells said...

This is really neat and a great science lesson. Beautiful!

Carol said...

YIPPEE !! so glad you noticed that one so the kids could watch the end of the process. I have missed so many, but usually don't bring it inside. Have had several hatch over the last couple of days. Now maybe that one you just hatched will lay eggs shortly on your parsley again and you and kids can start the process all over again. Butterflies only live about 14 days!

Elaine said...

how wonderful!