Friday, May 4, 2012


One of the things Julianna had been asking for for quite a while was a butterfly garden and then I saw a Groupon for one and bought it immediately.  The problem was that it was the middle of the winter and you can't order butterflies and expect them to survive in the middle of the winter.  So I waited and ordered them for her birthday.

When they came we eagerly opened the package and watched the teensy little caterpillars (or as she used to say, cater-pitters) crawl around the cup.

We kept them for a little over a week, checking on them every day.

Most of the time multiple times a day.

On Easter Sunday morning they started building their cocoons.  Before long there were four chrysallids hanging from the top of the cup.  We thought the one last caterpillar was dead.  (The instructions said they guaranteed 3 of the 5 would survive.)

We were wrong.  He was just a late bloomer and he got his act together a couple of days later.  Then we pinned the tissue paper from the top of the cup inside of the net butterfly cage as directed.  They hung out there for a while, working some magic behind the scenes.

After another 9 days (this Tuesday) we came home from school to find a butterfly had "hatched" from it's chrysallis.  When we woke up Wednesday morning the second one had come out.

Jonathan mixed up some sugar water (as the instructions said to do) and placed it on the center of a rose we cut from the yard and stuck it down in the bottom of the butterfly habitat.

We decided to take them to Julianna's class and the teacher had already OK'd it.  Wednesday morning on the way to school the third came out.  Mind you, it's less than five minutes up the street to her school and Josh, Jules, and I saw the entire butterfly birth on our way.  Josh called Jonathan excitedly after it happened.

At school that day Julianna said the fourth butterfly hatched and after lunch the kids in her Kindergarten class set those four butterflies free.  The following day the last one hatched (I feel funny writing "hatch" but I don't know the proper term) and they set him free as well.

It's been well worth the $10 plus $5 shipping to share this experience with my kids.  The timing was absolutely perfect for both Julianna's birthday and for Easter and I got to have a couple of good conversations at bedtime with Jules about the similarities between a butterfly's transformation and the death and resurrection of Christ.  Perhaps we'll do it again in a few years.

Have you ever ordered any live animals or insects?

There's a local butterfly farm near us, but we've never visited.  Have you ever gone to such a place?  I've always thought it was kind of expensive since it costs about $7/person.  Is it worth it?

1 comment:

The Hughes' said...

What a great story! Allison's home school group is going next week and I desperately want to take Addie bc she LOVES butterflies, but I don't know that I am going to be able to take the time. :(

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