Monday, August 3, 2009


a profound change in form from one stage to the next
in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar
to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.
Isabella and I both share a fascination with butterflies. In fact, one of the things we wanted to do this summer was purchase a butterfly pavilion and observe the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Lucky for us, we ended up going to little Miss Brooke's butterfly themed birthday party at the Lichterman Nature Center.

Here's Miss Brooke with her Daddy.

The following are pictures taken during the party.
Say cheese, guys!

Aww, such a pretty girl!

Oh, okayyyy
Alrighty then, moving on,...

So, not only were we able to enjoy a nice time with our wonderful friends the Jackson 5, as we lovingly call them, but we also left the party with on of these:
Inside there was a caterpillar, well two in our case, and instructions on how to successfully end up with beautiful butterflies. And can I just say we did it! We cared for our little caterpillars and diligently did everything as the instructions sheet said.

Then one morning we woke up and immediately checked our little cage only to find we had a couple of pupas or cocoons in place of the caterpillars.
Then we patiently waited for the butterflies to emerge.Well, in reality some of us waited more patiently than others. But we got through it. And one day as we're going about our daily business in the kitchen, Scott says: "Hey, whadaya know? You have a moth. Congratulations!"
Hmm, not exactly the colorful butterfly I was expecting to see, but it is what it is. We were now proud breeders of a moth. I'm sad to report that for some reason the other pupa did not hatch. Maybe Sam actually scared it to death with all the screaming and screeching he does, since the boy apparently only has one volume ~ and I truly believe it to be lethal!

Anyway, a couple of hours later we were delighted to see the butterfly we had actually hoped to see.
You see, after it emerges from its pupal stage, a butterfly cannot fly until the wings are unfolded. A newly-emerged butterfly needs to spend some time upside down inflating its wings with blood and letting them dry. OK, is it just me or is this totally fascinating?

Well as you can imagine, the time came when we had to release our butterfly so that she could go and fly around and eat and meet up with other butterflies. So we released her last Friday afternoon. Although deep inside Isabella understood it was necessary, she was so sad to see her little butterfly fly away.
But wouldn't you know what happened the following morning. I was standing outside on the patio watching Isabella and Sam playing in the yard when all of a sudden our little butterfly flew up to me and just went crazy flying in circles around me. I immediately called Isabella and as soon as she made it to the patio, the butterfly started flying around her. It was crazy, almost as if the butterfly recognized the two people who had cared for her. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

This entire process was just amazing to say the least. Isabella and I absolutely loved every minute of it and I think we'll definitely do it again in the future.