Saturday, March 12, 2011

Our New Pets

We have been entertaining ourselves with our new pets, butterflies! I bought a Butterfly Garden and got a certificate for 5 free caterpillars. After redeeming it, we got 5 caterpillars in the mail in early February. They were tiny and Jman thought the mailman was the coolest! The caterpillars had to grow in the cup for about 10 days (first picture). They tripled in size and devoured the food that came with them in their plastic cup. Then, they became cocoons/chrysalises. They climbed to the top of the cup and attached to a paper disc inside the cover. After they all became chrysalises, I had to carefully open the cup, remove the paper and attach it to the inside of our butterfly garden. The garden is a big cylinder made out of mesh with a clear plastic zipper top. It was tricky to get the disc pinned in. I ended up having one of the chrysalises popping off of the paper and had to set it on a paper towel on the floor, as recommended by the instructions (second picture). They were chrysalises for about a week and a half and then the butterflies emerged! We didn't notice the butterfly at first, because we kept them in the boys bedroom and the first butterfly emerged while we were sleeping. The second one came out during breakfast a couple of hours after the first. Jman was super excited! We did end up getting all 5 butterflies to emerge. The last picture shows one of the butterflies with it's wings open, sitting on the carnation. They are painted lady butterflies; orange, black and white in color. The one that fell off of the disc, however did not get to expand it's wings so it sat in the bottom of the garden for a few days before we took him out. We keep fresh carnations in the bottom and feed them sugar water everyday. The boys love watching them fly around and they keep them on their toes with occasional tip overs and some curious poking! It has been fun!

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