Saturday, July 16, 2011

Growing wings

We have five Painted Lady butterflies. And we missed every one of them coming out of the cocoons. And all but one did it while we were close, just not watching. Two made their appearance while the kids were napping and I was doing chores one afternoon. And two others showed up Friday morning while I was working at the kitchen table and the kids were watching "Curious George 2."

The caterpillars spun themselves into their cocoons (7-10 days) and transformed into butterflies (another 7-10 days) exactly like the directions said they would. By-the-book science projects are pretty much the only way for me, someone who must use the other side of her brain.

Although one butterfly does seem to have a broken wing.

After another day or two of watching them and feeding them sugar water on paper towels and orange slices, we're going to let them go.

But first some Painted Lady butterfly facts, according to the included information:

She can lay up to 500 eggs.

She is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world.

She may travel 1,000 miles in her lifetime, which is normally 2 to 4 weeks.

She breathes through her abdomen, has 10,000 eyes and tastes with her feet.

Even a momma can learn something! I love seeing them open their wings to reveal the vivid orange and then close them again to camouflage themselves. They seem fragile but complex, which, really, can be said of us all.

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