Someone gave us a butterfly-raising kit for SofĂ­a’s birthday.

We had to send away for the caterpillars. Oh, she was so excited – “Mom, have the caterpillars come yet? Have they come? Will they come today?”

And we got to watch the whole life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly. Unfortunately we missed all the butterflies hatching out of their chrysalids – we’re just not early enough morning people I guess. But once hatched, she loved seeing them flutter around. She loved feeding them sliced fruit, got excited to pick flowers for them in the garden.

But three days of captivity is all I was willing to inflict on them. It was soon time to let them go. So out we went to the buckwheat patch.

One by one… “Goodbye, butterfly!”

Once we got inside, she told me she missed them. So maybe next time I see a caterpillar, I won’t just feed it to the chickens.

5 Responses to “Butterflies”

  1. Heidi Says:

    What a neat present. Wish we had been there to see her react with the butterflies. Do you remember the butterfly “farm” where we saw all stages including emergence in progress. Maybe Maryland has a preserve so she can actually see them come out. I wasn’t aware that it was a certain time-of-day thing.i am so glad Sofia is interested in all this stuff–she’ll grow up to be a good eco-steward with your tutoring…

  2. amy Says:

    Wings of Fancy at Brookside Garden is AWESOME!!!
    I scarred Meg for life by letting the last butterfly go despite its curled wing….a robin spotted it and snatched it up as we were waving goodbye:shock:

  3. Aunt Nancy Says:

    I recently found out that my Mom (Anna Jean) knows a lot about hatching butterflies. If you want more info, contact her. She even knows what kind of butterflies will hatch based on what plant she finds them on. And she said you just continue to feed them from the type of plant they came from. (something like that) I never knew she knew all of that. I do know she said a milkweed plant will have Monarch Butterfly. Just search the plants for the little thingies already attached, break off the branch and bring them in. She uses glass jars, but I see Sofia already has a nice little home to put them in.

  4. Sam Smith Says:

    This is soo cool, our mom was like that too, always doing stuff with us or showing us stuff, I learned to love the natural world because of it.

  5. Heidi Says:

    If you wanted to try to grow your own, these butterflies really like mallow to lay their eggs on…I don’t know about overwintering, but you could try with a Spring egg/larvae order. Just make sure you aren’t introducing another pest into your farm…

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