Wednesday, July 14, 2010

butterflies: gore to glory

The girls recently "raised" 10 butterflies - from larvae to full grown ready to soar butterflies. Last weekend was the big release. Our babies are now free live out their life span of about 2 weeks in our yard, and beyond.

A couple years back we bought one of the InsectLore Ladybug Land kits. It's was pretty amazing to watch the metamorphosis. We loved it. So this time it was the Butterfly Garden. The larvae grow in size stunningly fast until ready to form their chrysalides. Then, it was a 4-5 day wait for them to emerge - all on the same day - in all of their butterfly glory. What we hadn't expected was the gore. I happened by their mesh garden on the big day after 3 or 4 of them had made their escape and were drying their wings. Before noticing the butterflies, I noticed the red blood-like markings that had dripped down the outside of their temporary home. At first glance I thought the cats had managed to reach the hanging home and had done their dirty work. A closer look revealed the live critters slowly flapping their wings with their former shells still hanging where I had pinned them, to the side of the mesh. The red gore was a natural pigmenting part of the process. Huh. Who knew? What will be raise next. My vote is for frogs.

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