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Published August 24th 2017
Witness the Life Cycle of your Own Butterfly
Does your child love the picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Imagine your child's joy at the opportunity to care for his/her very own caterpillar and watching it progress through its life cycle to a butterfly.
Online company Butterfly Adventures, distributes caterpillar kits, chrysalises and live butterflies for observation and live releases. During their recent sale, I ordered two chrysalises of developing Monarch Butterflies.
My children were most excited when I told them about our upcoming butterfly experience, and our boxed package arrived by courier within the week!
The Chrysalis Kit consisted of:
1) a small woven box to house the chrysalises, allowing for sufficient air flow and easy observation 2) two carefully packaged chrysalises, each with an attached hook to hang from the roof of the woven box 3) informational flyer / business card with contact numbers 4) required packaging materials
Troubleshooting Upon unwrapping the package, I realised that a hook belonging to one of the chrysalises had broken off. In a mild panic, I retrieved the flyer and contacted the landline number provided. This phone call went unanswered – fortunately, a second call to the business mobile was promptly answered by a very helpful lady. She assured me that the situation could be easily rectified by reattaching the hook using superglue (to a particular point on the chrysalis). Apparently, they are much hardier than I had thought.
When both chrysalises were hanging as intended, the box was placed towards the rear of the kitchen bench and out of children's reach.
Beginning our Butterfly Adventures!
Each morning, the children would wait in anticipation whilst I retrieved the box and carefully placed it our dining table. The instructions specified to lightly mist the chrysalises daily, until they darkened in colour. The children were responsible for this, and box remained on the table throughout breakfast for observation.
DAY 1: The package arrived early in the morning and the chrysalises were hung accordingly. They were light green in colour with lovely gold spotting trim.
DAY 2: The chrysalises began to darken in colour.
DAY 3: Outlines of the butterflies became visible
DAY 4: We woke up to find a butterfly had emerged from one of the chrysalises!
DAY 5: We released our butterfly in the afternoon. He/she was becoming distressed in the box, flapping its wings and fluttering on the spot.
The Big Release
Upon opening the box, the butterfly was a little hesitant. It slowly made its way out, rested for a brief moment before flying up and over our fence.
The children were in awe and not even a little disappointed that it hadn't stayed for longer (Master, nearly 5 years, had envisioned the butterfly landing on his hand and fluttering to his head before flying away).
What Happened to the Second Chrysalis?
Unfortunately, no butterfly emerged from the second chrysalis. Interestingly, it was the chrysalis with the broken hook that produced a live butterfly. The children were a little sad, however it was an ideal opportunity to discuss stages of life and death.