June 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Pictures) (, , , , , , , )

P6180003

Permalink 1 Comment

Butterfly Party! With cake!

June 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day, Pictures, Video) (, , , , , , , , , , )

So the party was a success. We had food and drinks and cake and butterflies! What more?

I do have some sad news though. It appears that we may have lost three of our little caterpillars. The ones that were still hanging never opened. It’s been 21 days and the temps have been brutal. For our very first time taking care of butterflies, I would say that eight out of eleven is pretty darn good!

The pics below are of the last three chrysalis. On the 18th and then today. There seems to be a hole in the side of one, and it looked hollow inside.

The pic above is the cake.

The video is the last two butterflies being released. The camera is a little jerky, and once they go, you really can’t see them. Also we are all talking way too loud and over each other. It can be annoying. But stay with it.

When the first butterfly actually picks up and flies away, the kids’ reactions are worth the time.

Still look viable.

Still look viable.

And now, 5 days and 90 degrees later, not so much.

And now, 5 days and 90 degrees later, not so much.

We did a good thing.

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

Permalink Leave a Comment

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.

P6150152

Fresh from the chrysalis!

Fresh from the chrysalis!

P6150165

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.

P6150190P6150200P6150220P6150182 - Copy

Permalink Leave a Comment

I want to get away, I want to fly…away…

June 16, 2009 at 7:36 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day, Video) (, , , , , , , , )

The first baby flew away. Literally. He took a long time to “dry”. But the cooler temps on Monday were most likely the problem. If you check the post below you’ll see some fun facts about butterflies and how they are able to fly.

Check out the video below. He flies away fast. But at least we had him for a whole day.

Permalink Leave a Comment

We have BUTTERFLY!!

June 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day, Pictures) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Sorry, this is Tuesday. My education obligations and medical appointments had me running. No time for the computer. Until now!

We had our first butterfly on Sunday!

Just one little guy…well…he was big…bigger than I thought. But he was all alone. And Stevie (my daughter) was not home! She was with her dad. I tried to get hold of her all day, but no luck. Sunday went into Monday. Our butterfly dried and fluttered and flew around in his small home. He was hanging upside down on the netting on top of the container. We tried to let him go at dusk, Sunday night…no luck. He just stayed stuck. So we tucked him in for the night and waited until Monday morning. Less than 45 seconds with the net back and off he went. I tried to catch as much on video…but you know how these young butterflies can be! Off to find a mate! Not even a Disney pause to say thanks!

Oh well. The rest were still hanging all chyrsalis-style. Not moving. That was 10 am. Monday. These pics and video are from that point.

I also checked the internet for any care tips or general butterfly info. A few things I learned:

1. The warmer the temperature outside/inside/wherever they are hanging, determines the speed of metamorphosis. Broad time frame, 10-15 days. We had our first at Day 12.

2. The new butterflies only need to dry for a few hours. Our first guy took many hours. But….

3. They need heat to fly! Their wings, and bodies, need to be warm in order to lift off the ground and stay lifted. Once they get flying the energy it takes to keep flying generates the heat they need! That’s why…

4. Alot of butterflies have darker exterior wing colors. To absorb the heat of the sun. That’s also why…

5. They flutter their wings! It creates more surface area and warms up their bodies. Who knew?

6. Butterfly caterpillars make a chrysalis.  Moth caterpillars make cocoons. (The guy on the internet was kind of picky about this distinction)

7. Once the butterfly flies away, they look for mates, start a family, lay their eggs, and die.

8. It is kind of sad, but these particular type, Mourning Cloak, can live up to 10 months! Pretty long for a butterfly. We are nothing, if not sturdy out here in the Midwest!

9. One extra fyi–The Mourning Cloak is so named because its wings resemble the type of cloak that was worn in the 1800’s for mourning the dead.

And now YOU know too! Go out and impress your friends.  First take a look at these though:

He was a milk jug butterfly. After busting out of the chrysalis, he clung to the side for awhile.

He was a milk jug caterpillar. After busting out of the chrysalis, he clung to the side for awhile.


Opening the wings.

Opening the wings.


Creating a home at the bottom of the plastic tub.

Creating a home at the bottom of the plastic tub.


We noticed purple flowers were the favorite.

We noticed purple flowers were the favorite.

P6140128

Just not ready to go yet...

Just not ready to go yet...


In case you were curious. This is their very temporary home. Exterior.

In case you were curious. This is their very temporary home. Exterior.


Interior. With non-emerged chrysalis. There are 6 hanging. And 4 more inside the milk jug.

Interior. With non-emerged chrysalis. There are 6 hanging. (Hard to see) And 4 more inside the milk jug. We had a total of 11.

P6140076

Permalink Leave a Comment

Video. Butterfly Goofing.

June 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day, Pictures, Video) (, , , , , , , , , )

Sorry this is taking longer and longer. I couldn’t download from the camera, so I You-Tubed it and posted  from there. There are four videos total. I only included two for the sake of not boring you to death with butterfly downtime. It’s not like they move a lot.

It’s more like….sit…sit…sit…sit…MOVE!

Skip to the 1:00 minute mark (in the first clip) and you’ll avoid alot of the “sitting”.


Permalink Leave a Comment

Cocoon Update! Soon to be followed by a Butterfly Update! (Real soon!)

June 14, 2009 at 3:20 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day) (, , , , , , , , , )

Almost immediately after the caterpillars were in the milk container they began the process of making their cocoons. We had eleven caterpillars, and we have 11 cocoons. It is pretty amazing. It took them only a few hours to create the cocoon around themselves. And now they hang. Waiting. Time and temperature decide how fast they metamorphisize. We estimated June 18.

Follow the whole story HERE. (First posting)

And then HERE for an update.

These are pics of the caterpillars when we first caught them.

The SECOND day. What happened overnight?

Here’s the pics from a few days ago, below:

(These are the best I could get without disturbing them, since after all the trouble my neighbor and daughter went to making a place they could hang from, they just attached to the top of the milk jug.)

P6080003 P6080009P6080013

Permalink Leave a Comment

My fans await…

June 8, 2009 at 4:39 pm (Day to Day, Movies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

And here I am being lazy all day. Seriously lazy. It’s 3 pm and I am just now up and doing stuff. Too bad too, cause it’s really nice outside. I probably could have done tons more.

I’m adding a warning right here, before I get a call from my sister telling me how lame and annoying I am:

This post contains a long, possibly boring narrative of my days and nights since Saturday morning, before the party. Proceed with caution (and a drink for maximum enjoyment, I recommend the Vodka Mixer, but only if you’re over 21. Please drink responsibly.) if you continue. I cannot be held accountable for what you think is funny or not. End of warning.

I was awake at 10 am. And I had coffee and watched tv. I checked my e-mail because the kids both got their own e-mail accounts and they like to send messages and videos and chat back and forth even though we are all in the same house. It’s really fun. They send an e-mail, hand me the computer, I open my e-mail, read and reply, and hand the computer back to them. Only kids can give you this kind of entertainment.

Anyway, as luck would have it, they are at their dads right now (which is why I can lay around until 10 am in bed on a Monday. School is over for them and mine is on Tuesday’s) so since they are actually out of the house I knew there would be messages. And there were. Checked and replied. Drink more coffee. Watch a movie.

Ladies, (or guys), if you are going to cheat on your spouse, watch this movie first: Clash By Night

It’s surprisingly violent and straightforward. I flipped it on thinking that old movies sometimes are the best on days like this. And I was right. The poster and IMDB kind of make it seem like a Marilyn picture, but it’s not. It’s about love and the giant mess it makes when you get married, and have kids, and have lovers and families and live by that sexy ocean when it’s hot outside…but judge for yourself…that could be the Bailey’s talking.

After the movie, I decided that a shower might be nice. I was kind of hungry too, but way to lazy to make anything or even go out to get something. So I did all the personal hygiene stuff I like to do when the kids and BF are gone, played some Pocket Poker (lost everything) and moved onto the mail and the couch. It’s windy and keeps trying to rain. I wish it would because then I don’t have to feel guilty about sitting inside like a hermit.

After the paperwork I had to do was done, I moved onto laundry, and vacuuming. This is gripping reading I know. (Shut up! Aman-duh!) I am just now getting the house back to it’s pre-party condition. Not that there was a big mess or anything. My sisters and family toatally helped clean up! Thank you! I just like to remove our daily living paraphernalia from the public view. But, you have to put it all back because you find out you need it at hand. Stuff like, my food journal, and bills, and magazines and school books, things like that.

Speaking of the party…it was good. Really good I thought. Party was scheduled to start at 2 pm. It rained at exactly 2 pm.

But then it stopped and warmed up just enough for  everyone to go outside. I’d say a majority of those invited actually came. Very successful. You never know with these kinds of things. You want the party to NOT be a disaster. It’s really all you can hope for. The food arrived, everyone ate, drank, socialized, and left. Last people out were my sisters. 11 pm ish, I think. Not bad at all.

Sunday morning was raining a bit. Mason had grass to cut. Another job! Then we went to the movies. Land of the Lost

It’s not bad. But it’s not worth paying full price unless you really LOVE Will Ferrell. There are some really funny parts and some that just aren’t. Also, alot of swearing and jokes and visuals that might be a little too adult for the younger crowd. Mine are 10 and 11 and I was cringing a few times and working up the explanations in my head.

We had a gift card so it wasn’t too bad. The food cost more than the admission! Bleah!  Then we motored the children on over to their daddy’s. The BF and I watched Mr and Mrs Smith for the gazillionth time, ate food and hit the sack. And here I sit today.

Laundry is cooking, books are waiting, pictures need posting…I could spice up the story with some sordid little details about how I earned a buck-oh-two on Saturday night, or what vodka, 7-up and bags of ice brought to the party Sunday night, but I bet you can think of a million better things than I could come up with, including the truth. This site is interactive! YOU tell ME and I’ll let you know if you’re close.

Which reminds me, my brothers favorite movie is coming on tv soon. You can’t handle the truth! At least I think it still is. I personally don’t care for the “Jack” myself but I try to be nice. I prefer his other favorite Keyser Söze. I’m not sure why, but if it’s on tv I watch it, no matter where in the story or what time it is. I’ve watched it at 4 in the morning on Christmas Eve. Why is it even on at that time?? It’s a sickness.

Alright look around for some pictures. I have more stuff to come, including a caterpillar update. What are those crazy cocoons up to?? You know you want to know.

Find out! Later!

Permalink Leave a Comment

NOT the Monarchs…

June 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm (Butterflies, Caterpillars, Day to Day) (, , , , )

After some extensive research across the internets I have discovered we do NOT have Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars.

They look like THIS.

What we have are Mourning Cloak Butterfly Caterpillars. Still VERY exciting. AND…I think, prettier than the Monarch.

Check out the blue dots! Tres chic!

That would be post-metamorphisis…the caterpillar itself is HORROR movie! Spiky! Hairy! Cree–eepy!

The new family is resting safely at the neighbors house where all the ensuing action will take place. Apparently these are quite common around here and they should eat for two weeks or so, create their chrysalis, and in 10-15 days emerge, and take off into the sunshine.

Wish our little pupa’s luck!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »