Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Painted Lady Butterflies

William officially started Kindergarten this year, and we have been having a great time with homeschool. For a science project this fall we ordered a butterfly garden and live caterpillars. The caterpillars came in the mail two weeks ago.


William was just a little excited.



For several days we watched the caterpillars crawl around, eat, and spin silk threads.



When the caterpillars were entering the pupal stage they crawled to the top of the cup and hung upside down on the paper disk inside the lid.  After a day or so the outside of their bodies began to harden and they turned into the chrysalids that you see above.



After a couple of days we carefully took them out of the cup, and we pinned the paper disk to the inside of the butterfly garden.  While moving the caterpillars into the butterfly garden some of them started wiggling.  This is a natural instinct to ward of predators.  One caterpillar wiggled so much that eventually he became detached from the paper disk and he fell to the bottom of the butterfly garden.



Last night the first butterfly emerged from its chrysalis!  The first one to emerge was the one that had fallen off of the paper disk.  Here he is on his back working to get his wings opened up.  You can see the remainder of the chrysalis lying on the word "Live" on the bottom of the butterfly garden.



The first butterfly drying its wings after emerging.



Painted Lady Butterfly



William with his butterfly garden.

We feed the butterflies by putting drops of sugar water on carnations on the floor of the butterfly home.  We can also give the butterflies slices of orange to drink from.  This has been a really fun project for William and for all of us!

3 comments:

Shari@Rain into Rainbows said...

What a fun project for both of you! That first picture of William is adorable!! You can just see his excitement.

I think it is *amazing* that you're homeschooling with everything else you have going on. You're incredible, mama! 

Rachel Lundy said...

It really has been a fun project.  William loves bugs and animals of all kinds, so this has been really fun for him.

It is harder homeschooling than I thought it was going to be, but it is worth it. I don't know how long I'll be able to do it, but for now it is the right choice for our family.  Thankfully it is only Kindergarten, so the subject matter is easy for me to understand. :)

Jennifer LeBlanc said...

This is fantastic! I should do this with my girls.

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