Annelise was most excited for her Live Butterfly Garden kit she received for her birthday! We waited to order the caterpillars, knowing we'd be on vacay in June and hoping it would be a happy summer adventure...
Let the adventure begin!
The look on her face when she opened the mailbox to see the caterpillar box was priceless. The best part for parents is that you don't have to touch or do anything with them: their food & everything they need to live is in their self-contained jar. According to the kit: the caterpillars should take approximately 7 to 10 days to make the fascinating change into chrysalides. The caterpillars will climb to the top of the cup and hang down “head first.” It is crucial that they not be disturbed at this point as this is their most vulnerable stage. Although this seems to be a time of resting in the butterfly's development, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalid, the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation to the beautiful parts that will make up the butterfly.
It's not until this stage that you open the jar and put the cocoons in the cool mesh habitat:
Another 7-10 days after the chrysalides form, your butterflies will begin to emerge as adults. The darker the chrysalid, the closer it is to emergence. Keep your eyes on them now as you may get to witness the birth of a butterfly! As a butterfly emerges, it will rest in a vertical position while pumping its wings to full size. The butterflies do this by forcing blood under pressure into the veins of the wings. One to two hours after emergence, the wings will be full-sized and hardened, and the butterfly will be ready to fly.
It sounds exciting!!! After they emerge, [should be around my birthday! :-D] you can keep & feed them sugar water or set them free. I think we'll probably keep them a week or so and then release.
Annelise keeps running over to the jar to check on her caterpillars:
This is absolutely the best present ever, so far!