Thursday, May 17, 2007

Butterfly Garden - Adult Stage

While we were on vacation, I had one small worry - that our butterflies would hatch in a cold, lonely house with no food. Their tiny butterfly cries for help would go unheeded, and they would then spend the entire weekend attempting to use their little butterfly teeth (Wait. Do they have teeth? Oh god, I can't believe Sarah hasn't asked me this yet.) to gnaw out of the Habitat. Finally giving up, with their tiny mouths bloodied from the fight to escape, they would shiver in a mound, give one last butterfly yelp and starve to death. Boy was I relieved to find them nestled safely in their cocoons when we got back on Sunday.

Yes. I do worry excessively. Why do you ask?

It was Monday morning when they made their appearance, and once again, the process was astonishingly quick. I walked bleary-eyed by their house that morning to retrieve my bleary-eyed kid from her bed. When I came back minutes later, a newly hatched butterfly was walking away from its cocoon - just strutting as if metamorphosis is really nothing to get worked up about. The others soon followed. All five cocoons produced butterflies. Here are the empty pods. The red stuff on the paper is not blood. It's meconium which is basically baby butterfly poop. The insert that came with the kit pretties up the description and calls it "left-over color and unneeded tissue from the butterfly's wing formation". But it's poop. Red poop.



The next step was to feed the little critters. As you know, I didn't want them to starve! So, we took an old sponge and stuck some flowers in it. Then, we dropped sugar water on the flowers and placed the entire thing in the cage.



By Wednesday, they had gotten much bigger.



I began to tire of caring for another set of beings. After much convincing, Sarah agreed to release our new friends.



The largest and strongest was first to go. (He's near the top of the cage getting ready to fly off.)



Soon after, all but one were gone. As it turns out, one butterfly, the runt of the bunch, could not fly. He had a misshapen wing. I'll spare you the worrying and the details of the ridiculous feats I performed to keep this little guy alive. Just know that this morning when I was running low on anti-anxiety meds, I took Arnold, that's what I named him, out into the warm sun and placed sugar water on a leaf for him. He took a long sip of the food, fell over and died. Sigh...

Aside from the one tragedy and the streaks of meconium, I'd say this kit was superb. I highly recommend the Butterfly Garden. It was a joy for us all.

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3 Comments:

At 5:20 PM, Blogger QT said...

I would have worried too! The pic of Sarah sitting by the cage is priceless. I am so glad this whole thing turned out well. I think I am going to buy this for some kids I know.

How sad that Arnold didn't make it!

 
At 11:42 PM, Blogger Scribbit said...

Oh I'll definitely check that out, how fun!

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Natasha said...

Thanks for the article. We have 9, well 7 more to hatch. They on the ceiling of our balcony and are kinda on their own.

Today I looked at them and 5 minutes later I saw a dark spot on the ground. Their was tons of the red stuff....way more than the 1st guy. He had landed upside down and had folded one of his wings. I have unfolded part so he can kinds flap, but sadly he won't fly ( I don't think)
I will try to let him live for as long as he wants to...

 

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