October 30, 2010

Farming Butterflies

I love butterflies because they speak volume about transformation, change, and new life. That's one reason why I had a butterfly garden before we moved to a smaller residence. In my garden blog I shared about my dilemma whether to save my plants that were attacked by  caterpillars or to just let them and enjoy more butterflies later.

In our community learning center, we have a plant by the gate that is a caterpillar's favorite. Yesterday, before we closed our center for a long break,  my homeschoolers and I carefully collected some samples (pupa and caterpillar) to take home for observation.

Here is a pupa attached under a leaf.  Take note of its color.

This one is attached by our wall. See the difference in color from the first one? It is known that a pupa mimics the color of anything it is attached to. I love the gold line there!

We CAREFULLY placed them inside a box with lots of their favorite leaves.

 We made sure they're comfy and safe.

This morning, this is how the white one looked like.

This is how they looked this evening. The butterfly is almost visible now.

One of those baby butterflies flying in our garden.

Inserted Update: Oct 30, 2010
The following Morning

Early morning, Zoe woke me up to tell me that "we have given birth to a butterfly!" 
This is the first born!

It started practicing to flutter its wings.
As I was doing this post, it was busy showing off its beauty.

 It is soon to meet my garden.

Inserted Update:
 Nov 2, 2010

Most of the pupae were already showing the butterfly anatomy inside. We knew they will soon hatched. So we waited but it happened when we were all asleep.

We woke up with already 2 butterflies hatched. The wings were already fully stretched so we believed they were hatched around midnight. In the morning, we released them in our garden.

Remember Mr. Caterpillar? Well, last night he was the star of the show. We found him hanging head down from the lid of the box. Note the white silk that attached him to the lid.

He became a pupa overnight! He shed off his covering! It's still tender in the picture, and we wonder how it mimics the color of the cardboard lid.

Here's Mr. Caterpillar's worn-out coat!

While observing the new pupa, 2 more butterflies were hatched.

Here are the the empty shells.

We waited until their wings were fully stretched before we brought them out in the garden.

This is not the first time we did this observation. We've seen how all our pupae transformed into butterflies (monarch). But only this time we watched and recorded them closely.

Don't you just love to behold such beauty in your hand?
There is a dream of not just having a butterfly garden but a butterfly farm.

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly. 
~Richard Buckminster Fuller

Special thanks to Lori for hosting Friday FarmGirl@Heart.

Camera Critters
Many thanks to Misty Dawn for hosting Camera Critters.

Many thanks to Hey Harriet for hosting Shadow Shot Sunday.


  1. Hi Ruth, I am finally able to stop and comment back, what a busy day I had!
    What a beautiful idea! I love butterflies! So glad you all can have it and enjoy them!
    What a pretty place your homeschool website is becoming.

  2. Wow, was that AWESOME to see! What a great post, thank you so much for sharing it! I've never seen it in such detail before.

    Thanks again, and blessings to you!

  3. What a neat experience, thanks for sharing. I enjoyed following the transformation. Beautiful butterflies.

  4. It's a tough question about allowing the caterpillar destroy. But the aftermath are beautiful butterflies! We adore the colorful winged creatures, and perhaps ang slight destruction is worth it when we see these beauties!

  5. What a terrific, interesting post for the day! Love your shadows and the details are wonderful! Thanks for sharing! Hope your weekend is off to a great start! Happy Halloween!


  6. Such a beautiful post! I love butterflies too. We used to always take the girls to "the butterfly place" a wonderful greenhouse and butterfly "hatchery"....when they were little...such a delight when a butterfly would land on one of us.

  7. Wow, awesome shots and very educational for the children too. Thanks for sharing:)

  8. Wow, must be a fun activity for the kids especially.

    Camera Critters at my page, have a spooky Halloween!

  9. I loved this! Thanks so much for sharing. What an amazing process!

  10. wow stunning. How special. Will have to come back later and show my daughter they did a whole project on this at school recently.


  11. The pupae look like jewels. What a beautiful life-cycle series of photos you've put together. I'd love to share this post with my students.


  12. happy halloween. followed you because i find your page "homey", and i can relate with you, as our kids' ages seems the same.
    i love all your blog posts.keep it coming.

  13. Wow! What an amazing set of pictures!

    Thank you very much.

  14. We just came across this post today, Ruth. WONDERFUL. I have bookmarked it so that we can come back to it again and again. You really captured so much! Thank you for taking the time to put it on your blog so that we can enjoy.

    Hope you are having a good day.


Your comment is very much appreciated. But please know that my young homeschoolers will be reading this also. Thank you.
Looking forward to visit you.