Butterfly Video. Birth. Adaptation. Flight.

June 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day, Video) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

First up, as much as I could capture of the butterflies emerging. Excuse the jerky camera movement. I am not a professional. I was trying to get right in there!

This is our little gang fluttering around, flexing their wings. Again, some jerky movement and butterfly downtime. You can fast forward or watch it through. It’s actually somewhat soothing. I don’t know why.

And finally, the flight away from our temporary shelter. This whole process of emerging to flying took about 5 hours, approximately. This one is particularly long. Same bad camera work, but still really amazing. The real action is about at the  2:40 mark. It really is a cool thing to see.

In the end we still had two in the bin. Six in the world. And three still hanging.

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More Butterflies!More Butterflies!

June 17, 2009 at 10:43 am (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day, Pictures) (, , , , , , , , , , )

In a giant burst of 84 degree sunshine and blue skies, is how we left our box of caterpillar chrysalis’, just hanging there looking like nothing was going on.

The single butterfly that emerged on Sunday fluttered around a few hours, hunkered down for the chill night, and waited for dawn. The sun rose and our butterfly flew. Literally. He wanted the hell out of his box by 9:30 am. We opened the top and he was gone. The video is below. I tried to catch it all very cinematically, but the butterfly was too fast. By the time I knew which way he went he was gone. In the video you can see a black blob flying over the roof of the house. That was him.

10 more to go.

Fast forward to 3 pm. It’s Monday. Seriously, 84 degrees. Warm. Outside in the butterfly box…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Holy Hell! Seven more butterflies! And these don’t look all weak and wet. These look big, healthy, colorful, strong….just so amazing. I have never seen anything like it!

If you ever get the chance to birth butterflies, I say try it out. It really is an incredible force of nature.

Anyhow, so we have 5 butterflies hanging out at the bottom of the bin, and 2 still in the milk jug. We tip that over so they can crawl out and then remove it. There is only three more left and those are hanging from the top of the milk jug my neighbor had cut for escape. Crazy butterflies.

So we add more grass and leaves and flowers and I call my daughter. At the rate the butterflies are emerging, she’s never going to make it home to see any of them. As suspected, she wants to come home. She says, “Mom??? Can you come and get me??? Hurry Mom, I’ll get all my stuff packed…hurry…I’m going to miss them.” Within the hour she was back. All seven are out now, fluttering around looking really healthy.

We took out the milk jug and studied the chrysalis. We had been really worried moving them around because we didn’t want to knock the chrysalis off the side. We figured they had to be pretty secure seeing as normally they would be outside somewhere, hanging in the wind and rain with animals, etc. But they just look so fragile. Up close and empty we tried to get them off, and they are on there with super-glue. Impossible. You would kill the caterpillar before you could unstick the chyrsalis.

As soon as we started fixing up the butterfly box, one flew away. Up and out. Just like that. Then another. And another. And another. Now we only had three! It’s fun to watch them go, but hard to see them leave. We only had them a few hours. You want to keep them forever. You can’t of course, because they will die. They need to go and fly. Our box isn’t big enough for the long haul.

My daughter and neighbor planned a Butterfly Party for Thursday. That’s tomorrow. Just a small gathering of our family, sisters,  nieces and nephews, collectively, to celebrate this amazing bit of  nature. We tried to time the birthing  to hit 15 days. But we didn’t really understand what that meant. The party is still going but we might not have any left!

While we were deciding what we should do…try and keep any? Let them all go and hope the last three emerge by Thursday? What if they don’t?

Another one flew away. Now we have 2. This last one perched on the neighbors gutter for awhile, just absorbing all that freedom, before it finally flew away for good.

Seven was too many, but two might be ok for a day. The internet said they can be kept for a day or so, but then they have to go.

It rained all day yesterday and was cooler. The butterflies we have kind of just sat around. It’s funny, they’re just like people! Rainy=Lazy. The chrysalis’ of the remaining three just hung.

Today is Wednesday. It’s overcast and barely 70 degrees at 10 am. The sun looks like it wants to shine. If it warms up more the rest should emerge and that would be perfect! I think we have to let the two go. Three days seems too long.

So far we are 8 for 11. We were seriously hoping for just one. So I’d say we did pretty good! This is the 15th day of the 10-15 range given. We’ll keep it updated as it happens.

Of course there are pictures. You can really see the blue dots on these.  If I can get the video uploaded in a decent amount of time that will be here to. And now…butterflies!

2 out and 2 emerging. The red liquid underneath must be what is in the chrysalis with them.

2 out and 2 emerging. The red liquid underneath must be what is in the chrysalis with them.

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Fresh from the chrysalis!

Fresh from the chrysalis!

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Four in the flowers.

Four in the flowers.

One on the other side.

One on the other side.

Two in the milk jug.

Two in the milk jug.

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