Thursday, September 7

Metamorphosis

I had a new experience yesterday evening--I 'hatched' my first chrysalis. Each year in school my kids have had a caterpillar that they observed turning to a cocoon and then into a butterfly, but I've never seen it myself. On August 22, a friend gave the kids & me an active chrysalis and told us to watch for it to change, first into black and then emerge shortly after. We've watched and waited for days, and Super-creative Teacher Friend who gave it reported that all of theirs had hatched. Ours hadn't even begun to change. I began to think it was a 'dud' and that somehow I'd killed it as I often do to any plants that are in my care. But alas, yesterday at lunchtime I realized the cocoon had turned from a bright green to a dark color with Monarch patterns showing through. I shot off an email to S-C Teacher Friend to ask how many days it would take to come out--I had forgotten the schedule in my despair over its presumed death. I sent Little Chic out to see the black cocoon and she informed me that there was an empty cocoon with a hatched butterfly sitting beside it. Apparently the timeframe once hatching begins is brief. I went to move the twig out of the temporary home I'd made (a mason jar) to make it easier for Johnny/Katie (doubly-dubbed for male/female by Little Chic) to eventually fly off. It seems that newly hatched butterflies are very friendly because he crawled right onto my hand and didn't want to move anywhere else. I coaxed him to the back post of a rocking chair and we checked on him a few more times. After a couple of hours of wing-drying, he was gone. Little Chic is desperately worried that he won't be able to make his migration trip to Mexico in time for winter. They do fly 1,000 to 3,000 miles after all. Anyway, come spring, we'll hopefully see him back and get to meet some of the children.

5 of Your THINKS:

Panda-Mom said...

Awesome! I have never experienced that firsthand myself either. Oh, were those YOUR new nails in the pic? ; )

mary ellen said...

Nice mani!

That's a cool picture, my kids would love that.

Debbie said...

That is really neat! It takes me back to my childhood where mom did the same thing with us when we lived in Ohio.

Great PIC!

amyb said...

Very Cool. We went to a butterly sanctuary last summer and it was so awesome. I got a couple pictures of Brooke holding the butterflies in her little hand. Of course, I can't find them anywhere. The first set of digital pics I've lost. By the way, your nails do look good. I'm envious :)

calhounfamily said...

great metamorphosis post. you can let Little Chic know that I did see a butterfly closely matching the one in your picture. He/she was heading south the best I can recall; so Johnny/Katie is making good time and will be saying "buenos dias" real soon. We visited the butterfly exhibit at the mall this past spring. The girls have always loved them and immensely enjoyed the opportunity to see and learn about the little guys. Several years ago Elizabeth helped me write a song called Butterflies. The girls recorded it and sing it often. I'll try to post it as soon as I figure out MP3 and a few other issues related to the subject.
as always great post..