Today I released my butterflies. It was a 21 day journey. From baby caterpillars to watching them create their cocoon. Watching them emerge into beautiful and unique butterflies was wonderful. But releasing them was the most fantastic part. Seeing the butterflies take their new freedom flight was quite a sight. My dog Ruby nudged them to leave their butterfly tent and fly off to my backyard lemon tree. Enjoy the video of their journey.
I ordered the caterpillars from Insect Lore. They came in the mail in two days. I was somewhat worried as it was very cold the week I got them. It is important to keep them in temperatures between 60 – 80 degrees while they grow. They will live in this jar (with their food) for 2 weeks.
I watched each day to see the caterpillars crawl up to the top of the jar where they will form their chrysalis.
Eventually they began to attach to the top of the jar. They make a J hook to get ready to cover their body with a cocoon layer. I had hoped to see if but they do it so fast, I missed it each time. I am convinced they waited until I wasn’t looking.
I waited two days for all the caterpillars to form their chrysalis. I let hang in their cocoon for two days before transporting to the caterpillar tent.
The new cocoons hung in the cradle for 7 – 10 days. Watching patiently each day to see the butterflies emerge.
Finally the butterflies began to emerge. The first two on the same day and the next two the following day. Again I watched to see if I could see a butterfly emerge and each time it was in seconds and I missed it. I did get to watch them shake, dry their wings before spreading their wings. I fed them cut oranges which they loved.
Seeing the unique beauty in each wing is quite a site. Just like each person, every butterfly has their own individuality and define features.
And then it was time. Time to say goodbye. My dog Ruby helped nudge the butterflies out to their first flight. It was a beautiful day. Each butterfly emerged to find my lemon tree what was covered in lemon blossoms, along with the bees. It was a beautiful moment.