The Cycle is Complete

15 06 2010

I had a completely different post in mind for today but look who decided to join us!! Our mourning cloak butterfly! We waited almost 2 weeks for this beauty to show her wings. We weren’t lucky enough to see her actually emerge. It happened while we were at work/school. Instead, we came home to find her patiently waiting and allowing her wings to dry. Dinner around the jar involved more precise positioning of chairs to allow for optimal viewing this time. Then right in the middle of dinner she started shaking and just like that decided to test out those wings. So we got up and took her outside. By now she was sitting on the sand at the bottom of the jar so we took out the stick with the empty chrysalis still attached.

It was now our turn to wait patiently. The children observed her for a while and then became distracted by the neighbors.

When a few rain drops started to come down I panicked and Steve was able to coax her onto another branch and pull her out. Just as he was about to set the branch in a nearby bush she took off. Just like that, she was able to fly and we sat back in wonder.

Click here to see those wings up close. Just beautiful.

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6 responses

15 06 2010
painted fish studio

amazing! it is so wonderful you and the kids were able to see the entire cycle. as i’ve mentioned, it’s something that i always to see/do as a kid. tonight i caught a tick crawling on me — that’s as good as it gets here.

16 06 2010
Kathryn

That is amazing. What a beautiful butterfly!

16 06 2010
jenn

This is so cool, and so cool for the kids! Amazing that all that beauty is created while they rest. Fascinating.

Jen – what’s the all the ticks? Icky.

16 06 2010
kristin

oh! hooray!! did you keep track of what the caterpiller looked like to know how it will emerge? i’ve seen a few of these neon blue dotted tipped ones around…and i always wondered what the caterpiller looked like.

17 06 2010
cindy

wow, that is so exciting. the butterfly is gorgeous and was just waiting to be seen. your kids are so cute, too!

1 07 2010
smoothpebble

That really is the coolest metamorphisis lesson ever! I’m so ignorant about caterpillars and butterflies. I’ve always wanted to do this, but I’m clueless about how long it takes a caterpillar to remain a caterpillar, then form a chrysalis, then emerge…I picture it being a months long process…see – clueless!
We have had tadpoles and watched them turn into frogs though.

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