Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Goodbye, Butterflies!

This past Friday morning, on the 21st, we released our butterflies. While the kids have enjoyed watching the larvae change into a chrysalis stage and then hatch into butterflies, it has been by far Steve and I who have enjoyed the process the most. I think we'll do this every spring as a sort of rite of spring ritual.

I hadn't wanted to keep the butterflies for so long (it had been 10 days since the first butterfly had hatched), but it had to be at least 55 degrees, even at night, before they could be released, and it has just finally reached those consistent temperatures.

So, Friday morning, before Steve left for work, we released our nine butterflies. I had expected them all to fly out in a flurry, but it was all rather anticlimactic. It took about ten minutes for the first brave painted lady to fly out, and a full three and a half hours for the last one to leave.

When the second one left the habitat, it hovered in the air next to us for a few seconds, and then landed on Steve's shoulder.

After waiting and waiting for more butterflies to fly free, Steve had to take off for work, and the kids suddenly found the puddles more interesting.

It was a gray, gloomy morning, and a bit windy. Maybe that's what scared the butterflies. But later that afternoon, the sun came out, and it was a wonderful afternoon for some fun sand play. Chicago weather is so fickle. It's nothing for the temperature to change 30 degrees within 24 hours. This weekend it looks like sunny, sunny skies. Yeah!

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